Thursday, July 28, 2011

42 before 42 revised....

Can you believe that we are one month into the second half of this year??? Where the hell has the last seven months gone?

I decided it was time to revisit my list, and see if there were things on that list that can be ticked off,  or revised, or changed completely - because after all its MY list and if I want to change something I can.

1. finish the teachers aide course and have a job ( are rethinking this one - not sure I want to do the teacher's aide course... the job thing I still want to do though) I have completely rethought this, and decided not to do it. I have enjoyed having the time to "completely recover and live with out trauma in my life" as my therapist wisely put it.

2. sold some of my paintings. This is still a work in progress. I have done several more paintings, and have been asked if I can do some more. My soul sister helped me work out a "pricing worksheet" as I struggle to put a price on what I do - which is why I end up doing paintings as gifts.

3 get divorced (that process has been started officially today. before I can get divorced I have to have children's orders in place. Today I went and started the mediation process that will get the children's orders completed - which then means I can file for divorce!!) I'm sending off the divorce DIY kit next week.

4 sorted out my health (I had blood tests late last year - and sugars were good, iron levels crap, and cholesterol levels too high - but at least I have something to work with. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to review my medication, and discuss my increased anxiety at the moment) I have been making conscious choices about what I put in my mouth. Are doing some research into the topic of the moment - the addictive qualities of sugar.
5. be exercising on the Wii at least 3 times a week (um... yeh... so... um...nope)

6. Learn how to dance at dance classes (I told my soul sister about this one - and for the last four months she has been going to dance classes!! When I get back from holidays I will look further into this for myself)
7. have a firm stomach Learn to embrace the body I have. because lets face it... I'll be turning 42, not 22, and have had three kids. That stomach of mine is never gonna be the same....

8. grown my hair (this is a work in progress - I have been to the hairdressers, and as hard as it was I just got a trim - didn't get it all cut off!!) Still a work in progress... its getting there... somewhat curlier then ever before...

9. be wearing contacts lenses again Have canned this idea completely. Wearing glasses is a part of who I am, so I have ordered new ones, and new sunglasses.

10 at least once a month be doing something that is all about me - massage, live theatre, etc etc I do this regularly, and love it. feeds my soul.

11. gone on holiday somewhere by myself Are going to NZ with M, and can't wait. :)

12. gone on holiday with the kids (are in the process of booking a holiday for the September school holidays to day dream island!!!!) Paid for holiday today... so excited!!

13 fallen in love with someone who values, respects, adores me (well... um... have met someone, who I like A LOT... guess we will have to wait and see where it goes from here....) The journey can be read all about  here and here and here oh.. and herehere ,here and here ....
14 saved $2000 Still working on this one too.... seems bills, and expenses keep getting in the way. Bloody car. One way I could look at it though is that I have paid for a holiday for me and my kids, been paying all my bills, rent, etc. So there may be none left to save, but at least there is enough to cover the expenses.

15 have my tattoo on my wrist finished.(Booked in for this Wednesday!!!) Its done!! and I love it! check out here to see the finished work.

16. had my tattoo on my side added to

17. culled all the unwanted, un-needed "things" in my life OUT

18. have a vege and herb garden productive

19. learn how to crochet re-enrolled in uni When I get back from Daydream Island I will be able to do this! tattoo on base of spine.

22. have finished all the unfinished projects that I have - or gotten rid of them

23. get a new bed

24. get a dresser

25. double bed for Laura

26. nose pierced

27.make all Christmas and birthday presents for this year

28 reduce Internet/phone/mobile/electricity costs and save the difference I reduced my mobile bill significantly, and since changing the plan have not gone over the plan cost. Pretty happy about that!

29. gone to dreamworld/sea world/wet'n'wild with the kids on a mini holiday (I brought the VIP for myself and the kids for Christmas - which doesn't expire until 30 June. So far we have been to Movieworld, and Seaworld, and L and N went to wet'n'wild with friends. I going to let N take a "mental health day" and him and I are going to head to Movieworld and have a day together.)

30. looked into getting a new to me car

31 learn to salsa This is a duplicate of learning to dance... so will have to find something new to put here

32. start zumba classes There is Zumba classes locally...

33 water colour painting classes

34 Mosaic classes

35 Art workshops. (have THREE booked!! One this coming Saturday - working with mixed media, and two more in February!!)

36 Go whale watching this season Have a brochure about this, would like to do it before we go away to Daydream Island

37 climb Mt Cooroora ( I recently got half way up... and will get to the top!!)

38 learnt a natural alternative to get, and keep my anxiety under control

39 by the end of the year moved house.

40 re-enrolled into uni to finish my teaching degree duplicated...

41 started writing "my story", possibly in collaboration with my therapist.

42 have a big party for my 42nd birthday!!!

Still got some to work through before the 30 January next year...
Will have to think of three new things to put in place for the ones I have crossed out... Suggestions anyone?

Monday, July 25, 2011

feel your boobies...

This month has been fraught with appointments, waiting rooms, mammograms, ultrasounds, core biopsies, more mammograms, hook wire insertions, an open biopsy and more waiting rooms...

... and all I have had to do is sit and hold her hand amongst this.

My soul sister has breast cancer.


I'm angry. At me. I'm an educated, reasonably intelligent woman who likes to think she knows about her body. So ... When I discover that I actually don't know all I thought I did... I feel a tad pissed off at myself.

Did YOU know that there are different TYPES of breast cancer?

I didn't. But I do now. While I sat in the waiting room at Breast Screen (for those of your living in other states google breast screen - it will display your states services. If you are 40 and over you are able to have mammograms for free every two years.) armed with the information my soul sister had been told by the doctor, and what was shown on her mammogram that had sparked the onslaught for more investigation, I goggled on my smart phone. Me being the person that I am, I need to KNOW stuff.

I found an incredibly informative site at Cancer Australia . This is where I discovered that there were different types of breast cancer.... It isn't enough that there is breast cancer?? There has to be different types of the god damn friggin thing!!! Even one that has no symptoms... What the fuck is up with that???            

The type my soul sister has been diagnosed with is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS for short). The one that has no symptoms.


I met my soul sister nearly 13 years ago. My daughter was her daughter's "I'll show you were everything is" friend at the day care they both attended. She had a 6 week old baby boy - just like me (minus 10 days). Our daughters were weeks apart in age, our sons, days. And we connected instantly. She was in the midst of her marriage breaking up, and rebuilding her life. And rebuild she did. With dignity, and integrity, and grace. She inspired me with her strength and dogmatic determination. She is an amazing mother, and her children are two walking, talking tributes to her mothering. When I met her I had no idea just how important she would become to me.

When the door of my own pandora's box ferociously flew open she was there for me. She brought my daughter to the hospital to visit me, she gently picked me up from the corner of the toilet floor at the police station where I had fled to as the clutches of panic set in, she sat and heard all the ugliness of my story as I vomited it out, she looked after my children as I went off to fight the demon and put him in jail. She has been beside me, championing me, encouraging me, listening to me.... never ever judging me.

Now its my turn to champion, encourage, listen to....


If you don't know how to do a self examination here is guide from :
(If you are unsure ask your GP for a How to demonstration. Remember -  knowledge is power!)

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
• Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color

• Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:

• Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin

• A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)

• Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Breast Self-Exam - Step 1Breast Self-Exam - Step 1

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3

Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

Breast Self-Exam - Step 4Breast Self-Exam - Step 4

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.

Breast Self-Exam - Step 5Breast Self-Exam - Step 5


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