Thursday, December 22, 2011

upside down

the last month or so has turned my world upside down ~ i found out i have breast cancer! i've had the lump removed and my lymph nodes checked and am so very thankful to have found out this week that my lymph gland is clear.

it has been a crazy stressful time. the hardest part has been waiting for a series of test results. and also telling people ~ that's been confronting! i've wondered about mentioning it here, and decided to go ahead {especially now that i have results and a treatment plan} as i feel a connection/friendship with so many readers and also i think it's one of those things that is life~changing and pointless to try and not mention.

another positive thing about talking about it here is that i can remind you all to get onto the monthly self breast examination!! this is what has been the key positive factor in my story ~ i was lucky because i found it before it spread to other parts. it's scary to think that if i had have left it for even a short time longer the outcome would have been so much more devastating. i had my annual mammogram in march and have had ultrasounds for other things {a cyst, a strange unrelated shape thing} in august which were all clear and just a few short months later i found a lump which felt small but was actually a couple of centimeters big. please, do your checks!

i lost my mother to breast cancer when she was 39 {i was 18} and this is what has made me vigilant but also what has made this time kind of tougher.

during the last month i've changed my outlook from complete shock/fear to one of positivity {mostly!!} as the treatments now are 1000 times more sophisticated than they were 20 years ago and there seems to be an effective drug for each trait they have discovered. i have 5 kinds of medical world treatments lined up which will start mid-january as well as homeopathy and yoga and of course the love and support of my family and friends. **

and i get to have a drug~free {apart from champagne + coffee} christmas and new years.

i know it sounds strange to add, but i hope you have a wonderful christmas/holiday/silly season xx

** the book i chose to take into hospital for the surgery was marieke hardy's 'you'll be sorry when i'm dead' ~ i hadn't read any reviews and thought that it would be a funny, kind of upbeat read. then i got to the story about her friend! weird how that happens! and i want to borrow her friend's idea of the t-shirt that reads: 'thank you' {for all the love and support from friends and family}!

51 comments:

ArtMind said...

OMG Belinda, I can not even begin to think of how devastating the news must have been for you and your family.
So glad that there is a good outcome and that your outlook is positive. Positivity and support from friends and familie do wonders to the healing process. I send you a lot of positive vibes too! Thinking of you in these hard times and wishing you a wonderful X-mas & New Year. XO Mitsy

Christina said...

Oh Belinda! I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through, but so glad things are looking positive. What a shock. Thank goodness you are so vigilant.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your special people and best wishes for the new year. Thinking of you.

xx

13threads said...

Belinda, I cannot deny how shocked and saddened I am to read what you have been through...your courage and outlook fill me with great admiration.
Thinking of you, Lois x

Belinda [simple things] said...

Oh Belinda. I can't even begin to imagine how you have been feeling. I can see how you would be afraid after what your mum went through (and you went through with her).

I'm so glad that you have had good results medically, and that you have lots of love and support. I agree with Mitsy - I have seen positivity do wonders for healing.

I'm sending more positivity your way. And I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Years Eve with your loved ones.

Swirlyarts said...

Goodness! Here's to a relaxing Christmas and New Year and fingers crossed for a good outcome in 2012 xx

jen storer said...

Belinda I am speechless. You are so brave to be getting it all sorted like you are and to be speaking out like this. I know you will be an inspiration to others. I wish you a speedy recovery and all the loving support in the world. Christmas blessings to you and yours. jxx

Vickie said...

I really don't know what to say, except thank goodness you caught it & are treating it.
Christmas blessings to you & your family & all my wishes for a positive outcome.

Lauren said...

Hugs to you, Belinda, for being so strong. I'm glad all is clear and that you're combining treatments -- yoga and homeopathy have helped me with a few things, and I hope they speed up your recovery. Thank you for the reminder to check ourselves regularly -- I have a tendency to forget when the "right" time is and then push it off until next month...but the right time is always now, right? Be well, I'm sending warm and positive wishes your way.

Kristen Donegan said...

WOW Belinda what a thing to hold to yourself- I can't imagine the stress you and your family must have been going through...
I am so happy that you are seeing a clear end to this tunnel, and your right the treatments they have are so much better than they used to be...it does give one heart!
Hoping you have a super special holiday and a healthy New Year...many positive thoughts from my neck of the woods to you!

happyment said...

Wonderful holidays to you and your loved ones! Thinking of you. Hugs xoxo

ellie said...

hugs, thoughts, wishes and peaceful joy to you all. what a crazy month!

thank you for being brave and talking in this space - i think it's so good for us to all hear other people's real stories, which open our society to being honest and accepting of the things that are scary and something we don't want to think about. i can only imagine that this must have been such a hard thing to go through without your mother - i hope you've found someone else's mum to hug for a moment or two.

i say yah to the coffee and champagne! i hope you've splurged on the top-shelf brand.... enjoy, laugh, breathe and just be.

nathalie et cetera said...

Oh Belinda! What a shock to read you this morning. I'm happy that your results are looking good. And I am very impressed to see how strong and positive you are going through this. Your attitude will help you get well faster. Will be thinking of you. Warm wishes for this holiday season.

Susannah said...

Oh my goodnesss Belinda, sending you all the love and well wishes from across the ditch. I can only imagine how frightening this time has been for you - thank goodness all looks so positive. Thank you for sharing in this space, it is a really good reminder for us all to watch our health.

Wishing you a marvelous Christmas, drink up that coffee and enjoy the champagne!
xxxxx

74 Lime Lane said...

Oh belinda. Sending you lots of hugs and best wishes. Stay positive. Have a fabulous Christmas. K xx

Kelly Zarb said...

Hi Belinda I am sorry to hear your news and wish you all the best in your recovery period, please look after yourself and have a lovely Christmas with your family.

lamina @ do a bit said...

Oh my gosh Belinda!! Thank goodness you found the lump early! :) I am really vigilant in checking myself these days as this year I have had a weird lump which got all checked out and OK but then ended up going away by itself (?) and a strange freckle that went a little bit odd (shape and colour) but that's all ok too! So I count myself very lucky!

Hope it all goes well for you! And I hope you do have a great christmas aside from everything else going on!! :)
Thinking of you and sending you big hugs!
OXOXOXOX

June rhymes with moon said...

so, so sorry to hear about this...and so glad to hear that your outlook is so good. my thoughts are with you.

Tracey said...

Oh my goodness! I'm glad to hear that the cancer was caught in time ... and what an important reminder about looking after our health.

Take care Belinda, and I wish you the very best of Christmas cheer. xx

Jo said...

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this Belinda. Life deals some tough blows at times, eh. I admire your attitude and send good wishes for you at Christmas and in the new year x

june at noon said...

Oh, Belinda. I can only imagine. I had a "scare" last year (my mom has had pre-cancerous cells successfully treated, but it's still something I worry about for me and my sister), and that was enough to work me up. I'm glad you're doing ok and can sound so strong and hopeful. You're right: medicine/science is different now, and this can be beat! You relax, enjoy your Christmas, and hang in there, my friend!

Francesca said...

oh belinda. thank you for letting us know. we do all care greatly for our fellow bloggies so i'm glad to be able to get the chance to send love and wish you better. have the best christmas ever and i wish you a wonderful and healthy 2012.
with love from london, francesca x

prettylittlethieves said...

Belinda, I send you hugs, positive thoughts and well wishes. You are courageous, beautiful and strong! have a merry christmas!

Kylie said...

OMG Belinda! I'm in shock too. So glad that you caught it in time. Very best of wishes, lovely friend. I've been thinking of you a lot lately because we've been hanging your prints :) I'll be thinking of you even more now with love and positive vibes! Take good care hon. Kx

Gracey said...

Sorry to hear about this Belinda! Christmas well wishes to you and your family still!

Genevieve said...

I believe you can conquer this Belinda! And I'll be praying for you!
xo

Annie said...

oh Belinda! I'm so sorry to hear this news and what you've been going through! Lots and lots of positive thoughts, hugs, and love to you! xo

leah said...

wishing you blessings, love and strength...

Frannie said...

My best wishes as you move into your treatment. Your sharing is most welcomed, and has given me a reminder to make my yearly appointment.

May your New Year be bright and merry and know you are in my thoughts.
Frannie

Cathy said...

Belinda, thank you for your vulnerability. We are all rooting for you! I hope that the treatments go smoothly. You and your family are in my prayers.

Galit said...

Dear belinda, you are so brave and graceful in the way you handle this and as always - such great inspiration.
I'm sending you warm hugs and positive thoughts and wish you easy and successful treatment.
I'm sure your creativity is playing a big part here with keeping you so focused and strong.
Have a beautiful holiday dear one!

Jenny said...

Gosh Belinda, I didnt know what you had been going through when I bought from your shop earlier this week.

Thank you for the very important message about routine checking

I wish you all the best with your treatment and send positive thoughts to you and your family for a completely successful recovery.

May the New Year bring happiness and healing...

Dana Barbieri said...

OH Belinda. I am so sorry to read this! I was just scrolling through my reader and saw this and my mouth dropped.

First off, I am so happy to hear that it was caught early and you are on the road to recovery and secondly, thank you for such an important reminder to do the checks/get the mammograms! I was due to go for my first one back in September and haven't gone yet!
I will call next week.

Sending you healing vibes and lots of love! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
xo

annamaria said...

Dear, dear Belinda, what a shock!
I am so glad you have been taking care of yourself and caught this early on.Thank you for sharing it here, I realise how brave this was too. Do drink lots of champagne and coffee, do have as relaxed and fun holidays as you can. My thoughts are with you, many, many hugs, and best wishes for it all.
Lots of love coming your way from Vancouver...

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Just dropped by to catch up on your blog and shocked to find this news. Sending you all my good energy for you and your family. It must have been a huge shock.

I admire your positive and pragmatic outlook. Good luck with the treatment.

PiaD said...

Oh what a shock, what a time you must have had, especially given what happened to your mother. Having small children too! You are so brave. I wish you more braveness and positive energy with the treatment program!!

handmade romance said...

oh belinda i am so sad to read your news. im not sure what to say but want to let you know my positive thoughts and wishes are with you and your family for the journey ahead. giant virtual hugs xx evie

Lucent Imagery said...

I read this post and at first felt that I should quietly leave as I've never visited your blog before. I don't want you to think I'm just intruding to leave a comment without true thought. But I know I would love to hear from a visitor to my blog and you are creating a positive impact on those who read this. Definitely awful sadness for you, yet feeling strength for and with you. I think your attitude sounds so strong and I sincerely wish for all the best for you. It sounds like you will roll with the bad days, knowing that the next day is a new day and you are armed with a support network and medicine to help you. I am sending you lots of good vibes.

Lorena Martinez-Neustadt said...

how brave and generous from you to share this intimate and tough moment in your life with all your blog friends (and new followers like me!).

I wish you all the strength with your upcoming treatments, and I hope that very soon you come back to announce with big joy that you won this battle!

Sweet Mess said...

stephanie levy said...

I'm also sending you lots of love and light Belinda. You are brave to share here, and know that we are all sending you positive energy. You will get through this and emerge stronger than ever! Hugs + xo!!

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing and so sorry to hear what you have been going through Belinda. I am flying down to Sydney next month as one of my closest friends has been going through the same and will have a surgery. Split peas are apparently good to eat to fight with this particular health condition, I read. I hope all the upcoming treatments will go smoothly for you!

mizu designs said...

I'm late to reading this as have been a bit off-line recently.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I'm so glad you detected the cancer early. Good for you and those regular checks and thank you for reminding the rest of us.

Yes, I've read the Hardy book and that story about her friend. How weird that you should chose that book to take with you to hospital.

My thoughts are with you as you deal with the treatment. Stay strong.

Elisabeth Andree said...

Hello Belinda,
After a few weeks I am visiting your blog... What a shocking news. There are no words for how I like to wish you the best, so I won't try. But know that you are in my mind! A HUGE hug and a big kiss on both cheeks from me! Take good care!

Amy Prior said...

Hi Belinda I popped over to see what lovely things you have been making and to wish you a happy 2012 to find your news....thank you for sharing your experience and all my best wishes for a swift recovery and of course lots of happy times this year lots of love xoo

A Beautiful Party said...

I'm so sorry to just be reading this now. You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are such an inspiring person, I love to visit your blog and get a nice creative boost. Keep your spirits up and keep us posted.
<3

Nicole | Blue Bicicletta said...

Belinda, I've long loved your beautiful art, and just re-found your blog and read this news---I wish you so much good health and room for bright creative thinking through this!

Anastasia Egórova said...

Dear Belinda, I keep my fingers crossed, I hope everyhting will be alright!

xo
Anastasia

barbarabeesblog said...

Oh my god, I just came here after a while and was shocked to read what happened to you! I can't really say, how sorry I am for you and how glad, that you obviously found out early enough! I wish you all the best and hope your treatment won't make you feel too sick and wish you all the best. And even if it doesn't make any sense, I have good feeling and I'm sure everything will work out good and you don't have to be afraid - everything will be fine. I admire your courage to speak so openly about it!
I wish you all the best!
Barbara

Aether-art said...

So sorry to hear your news. I wish you strength for your upcoming journey. I hope your creativity will be a source of power, distraction and fulfillment at this challenging time. Wishing you the very best!

Tania said...

Lovely, I have been living under One Great Big Rock. You are, indeed, a big reminder to us all. May the path to full recovery be smooth and uncluttered. XXXX

Lauren said...

Although I've posted on this thread before, I just wanted to post again to give you a virtual hug...a bit after reading your post, I did a self exam, and found a lump...I have no family history and I'm 28, so I brushed it off as nothing...but was anxious to get it checked out at my annual...I wish I had not waited -- the doctor confirmed that it was a lump, and I'm getting it checked out this Thursday! If I was not prompted to check myself via your post, I don't know how long I would have waited...just wanted to say thank you. Sending you warm wishes and a healthy recovery, Belinda.

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