Thursday, 31 December 2015


My favourite account that I follow on Instagram is health and fitness guru @deliciouslystella....




Anyway, I've been reading people's statuses on Facebook today. Everyone is being very sentimental and deep this New Year's Eve and there are some very admirable new year resolutions being made by my friends. Well done and good luck with that!

I thought about it and to be honest I'm pretty happy with my attitude, perspective and priorities in life. There's only one thing about me that I want to change in 2016, and that's my body, which has been completely trashed over the last 18 months - partly from all the chemo, radiotherapy, surgeries, and various drugs, and partly from me being wholeheartedly dedicated to living the Deliciously Stella way in 2015.

This could not be more true:
So, my resolutions are a combination of obvious/bog standard:
1. Eat healthily.
2. Exercise every day.

And a couple that are a little more personal:
3. Stop being lazy and actually use all the various creams/oils etc I have bought (every day) to strengthen nails/moisturise skin/protect hair/fade scars. 
4. And seeing as some things will take time to change and some things can't be changed.... Do not allow hatred of body to get in the way of being happy and having fun.

Starting tomorrow.

Happy new year peeps! xxx

Saturday, 19 December 2015


I've titled this post "Attitude". What I really wanted to call it was "I'm happy and I love my life and if you don't like it then you can just Fuck. Right. Off." but that seemed a bit too wordy.

Today I've been told I have Stage 4 breast cancer. Stage 4 breast cancer, also known as secondary breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer, is incurable.

Luckily for me the person who dished out this news was just a random person on Twitter, and not any of my actual doctors. This Stage 4 diagnosis that was delivered to me was not based on any scans or tests. It was based purely on a negative attitude.

I sat here and wrote a big, full explanation of what made me write this post and I've just deleted it - because it doesn't really matter. These are the things I want to say that matter:

I had cancer. It was scary. I could have died, but I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't, because I love being alive, and I love my life. Having had cancer I feel this more deeply and strongly than I think I ever could if I had not had cancer. I LOVE BEING ALIVE, AND I LOVE MY LIFE. And I feel that and know that in my heart and in my bones and my gut Every Single Day.

I am happy. I am having fun. I'm excited for my future. Tomorrow, and next week, and next month, and next year. I am plotting and planning all the things I want to do, all the people I want to do them with. I'm going to have fun, and I'm going to try new things, and I'm going to challenge myself, and I'm going to surround myself with people who also want to have fun, and try new things, and challenge themselves too.

I'm not worried about my cancer coming back. I know full well that breast cancer is a nasty, sneaky thing, and the risk of recurrence will always be there. But FFS, I'm not gonna dwell on it! Even if I live til I'm 80, my time is precious. Every single day of it. I'm not going to waste any of it worrying about something that will probably never happen. (If it does, I'll just deal with it then. Probably by getting drunk and inappropriate, but you wouldn't have me any other way, right?!)

I'm not angry that I had cancer. I will be pissed off if it does come back, but unless that happens then I can't really say that it's been a bad thing for me. Don't get me wrong - there have been some difficult and frightening days. And I'm not overjoyed by the weight gain, short hair or scars. But as soon as I'm ok to run again the excess weight will be lost, the hair is already growing, and the scars will fade a little at least. And on a personal level, my cancer has given me much more than it has taken away. So I really don't feel that my own cancer diagnosis is anything to feel angry about.

I do reserve the right to be in a bad mood any time I please. I reserve the right to feel sad, insecure, afraid, annoyed, oversensitive, and irrational any time I please. If it's how I feel it's how I feel. But I also reserve the right to feel happy, and grateful, and excited - and not feel guilty about those feelings. I am rejecting any feelings of "survivor guilt" - the friends I have lost to breast cancer this year would all kick my arse if they could if I were to waste any time feeling guilty for being alive, or for being happy.

My heart is absolutely bursting with buckets and buckets of love for all the wonderful people I am so lucky to have in my life. Old friends, new friends, I love you all to bits.

Good. Glad to get all that off my chest.

I shall now continue dancing round my bedroom singing along to Mariah's greatest hits, looking forward to plenty of fun and silliness over Christmas and in 2016.

And I'll leave you with a few pictures from last weekend which I spent with over 40 other women who have had breast cancer this year. My wonderful friends who know how to enjoy life. (#WeAreTribe)





Thursday, 3 December 2015

A totally epic year

This is what I was doing a year ago today:
Yup. It's been a full year since my last chemo.
It's been a full year since I had to wear this facking thing:
A year ago since I made my awesome sign:
It's also been pretty much a year since I hit absolute rock bottom - a horrible dark place I hope I never end up in again. The worst of it barely lasted more than a day but I had really had enough, and I briefly gave up. I remember the night when I couldn't sleep, kept awake by one thought running through my mind on repeat - "I don't like being alive and I don't want to be alive if this is what my life is". The next morning I had to get out of bed and face the world because I had go to hospital for an ultrasound scan and appointment with my surgeon. I went downstairs, saw my horrible, nasty, ugly, cancer face in the mirror and started screaming at it. At hospital, the ultrasound scan was phenomenal - the tumours that had been there before chemo were gone. There was no visible cancer left. I should've been bouncing off the walls, but I wasn't. I actually went to my GP because I thought I had lost my mind, and didn't know what else to do. I was prescribed a big dose of "giving myself a break and telling my friends what was going on and letting them step in and look after me" and it worked a treat.
Anyway - back to December 3rd 2014...
My friend Laura came round that night to celebrate with me. We had Chinese takeaway and Prosecco. Laura brought me three presents. Nude nail polish because now that chemo was done I didn't need goth nails anymore. A razor, because now that chemo was done I was about to become a hairy beast once again. And this calendar...
The calendar meant a lot to me. It meant Laura thought I'd stick around for 2015, even though on December 3rd last year I myself didn't dare think ahead as far as December 3rd this year. I decided to use the calendar to retrospectively record everything I did. It's been on my wall in my living room, reminding me to pack as much in to 2015 as possible. And now I can look back and see all the things I have done, places I've been, and people I've spent time with.
Think I've done pretty well! 2015 has been a lot of fun. I've found myself in a bunch of situations I would never have expected. I've challenged myself. Let go of a lot of crap. And now here I am, December 3rd 2015, a year clear of chemo, feeling happy, and well, and realising I now really need to get a 2016 calendar.
And in the spirit of packing as much into life as possible, I've double booked myself this evening. Drinks with work friends first, and then out with Laura to properly celebrate my one year chemoversary! Yeah! Now bring on 2016!
(Still got the sign haha! This time I've got my own hair, eyebrows and eyelashes though...)

PS a little update, 4/12/15:
Laura is the most awesome mind reading friend because she gave me this present last night...