Pregnant with Breast Cancer

I think I jinxed myself. It seems the universe or the divine being who controls it thought I needed more challenges. It has been hard to comprehend all of the emotions, information, stress and anxiety of the last few months, so I feel the need to just let it all out in the best way I know how – this awesome blog! I hope that it will help others in a similar situation and bring them some solace.

Present: I’m sat in a beautiful pink recliner chair receiving chemo. 32 years and 8 months old, pregnant at 23 weeks. I’m the youngest one here. My gorgeous rock of a husband is sat across from me and I can tell that just as much as me, he wants this first session over and done with so at least we know what to expect…

So the big question: how the F**k did we end up here?!

As many of you will concur, we have had a fair amount of poop thrown at us in our 8 years of being together – from my near deaths from peritonitis 8 years ago to losing our little baby girl Rey on New Year’s Day last year, to moving continent and having to move back for health reasons…

My friends, here is a little bit of an insight into the madness that is our lives.

Rewind to January this year, we were blessed with a little nugget of awesomeness who will be joining us sometime around the end of August/beginning of September! We knew this nugget would throw a few spanner’s into our long term plans – we had only just decided at Christmas that we were going to apply for a US green card. Things unfolded in ways we did not expect – we couldn’t get it in the 6 months we originally thought,so it looked like we’d have to move back and then relocate again, once the green card had been approved. There is so much of America we still want to see and we barely scratched the surface in the year we were there!

At 8 weeks pregnant, we found a lump in my breast, but there was no immediate concern from the doctors. At 10 weeks I took the Counsyl genetics test to check for any abnormalities with the baby. The good news – she is perfectly fine and wonderful! The bad news is that markers flared up in my DNA pointing towards something less fun growing in me simultaneously. It could have been literally anything from polyps through to a 1/1000 chance of cancer, but the test didn’t provide a definitive answer as to what it was and where, which meant a lot more testing needed doing (X-rays, pet scans, MRI, Bloods etc…) We made the decision that we had to come back to the UK, which SUCKED but needed to happen.

And I am so glad we moved back. (We’ve been blessed with some lovely weather too!)

Doctors appointments, midwife appointments, followed by tests were all organised very quickly and we found out within 3 weeks of being back that I have triple negative grade 3 Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. Before we sat down in that room we knew it wasn’t great news – we were introduced to the breast cancer care nurse (before being given the diagnosis?!) and there were a lot of people there.

The consultant did the best thing in this situation and told me straight up that you have breast cancer, but IT IS TREATABLE.

So here’s the plan – once every 3 weeks I will have a round of chemo for a total of 12 weeks. Our little girl will be born hopefully pretty normally and I get to play mum for a short while, and then we will work out what surgery options I have to have around October. This may then be followed by either a bit more chemo or radiotherapy, but as of yet we don’t know.

In the meantime, I will be keeping you all updated with my progress on this interesting twist in the road – It may not be the most fun of adventures, but if I am to believe everything happens for a reason, I will do my darnest to help others out of it at the same time and carry on dishing out that positivity instilled in me from Rey.

Mummy’s Star is a charity I’m using to help me through this. They provide support for expecting mums who have received a cancer diagnosis whilst pregnant, and they have been fab.

MacMillan have also been great support so far through this testing time, and I know they will be in the months to come!

I didn’t see the point of keeping my long hair if it’s just going to fall out and end up in the bin, so I’ve donated to Little Princesses Trust who have wigs made for kids going through cancer treatment and they currently need hair longer than 7 inches, so why not? If I can make a little girl mike through this, then it was well worth it.

React, adapt, breathe, take action. Life certainly is 90% how you react to situations and I will beat this, and come out even stronger than I could ever imagine.

Project OM Launch

As part of the Orlando Wretlemania weekend, we were invited to take part in the Project OM Launch. This is a fundraising initiative supporting Susan G Komen. (Breast cancer research here in the states). AND IT WAS EPIC! The goal of this project is to have 1 million people take part in a yoga class between 12th and 14th May to raise funds and awareness in the hope of eliminating breast cancer in the U.S BY 50%, by 2026. 
The atmosphere was positively infectious with an array of participants who had travelled from as far as Canada to take part! There was in total 161 of us participating – a DDPYoga workshop record. The event was headlined by the man himself, DDP and the gorgeous Maria Menunos (Just so my UK friends know she’s a celebrity over here on daytime tv). There were also a couple of WWE stars taking part: Natalia, Dana Warrior (who is inspirational!) and Titus O’Neil. That man is so tall! I felt ridiculously short in comparison! 

The workout itself ROCKED – DDP made it accessible to everyone, as you would expect. The cross section of participants ranged from yogis, people affected by breast cancer to WWE fans who may never have stepped on a yoga mat before. The room was electric and it was so warming to be in a judgment free zone for a lot of the people there. It was also great for the yogis to experience DDPYoga too as some of them have never tried it before.

The sponsors were super and gave us a lot of free stuff including Manduka (a specialist yoga mat company here in the US) who provided us all with yoga mats, and blankets, DDPYoga which gave us all free pink t-shirts and WWE who arranged the event to coincide with the 2017 wrestlemania. There were also huge fruit cocktail kebabs (kebobs as Americans know them!) to munch on too, which was very much welcomed after the workout. 

We met a great deal of people at the event and saw some lovely familiar faces too (the Travel Smiths clan). Marcel who is a DDPYoga instructor from Canada finally met me after I had evaded him (completely by accident) for so long! He was in the UK in 2016 and taught a guest spot at one of Haydn’s classes but I missed him! I also met the lovely Lori from Florida – another instructor (in training?). Best of all I met the mama of Christina from Bodyrebooted. Christina if you read this I may have to steal your mum! 
Here’s Christina and I doing the M challenge at Kennesaw for Project OM (do you like how we used the canon to make an O?!)

If you want to get involved and take part, click on the link below:

https://www.manduka.com/projectom/

“Positive, powerful change needs to start from the ground up. Or, in many cases, from the yoga mat up. That’s why Manduka, the industry’s most trusted yoga brand, is hosting the world’s largest yoga class of one million bodies strong to benefit Susan G. Komen®.
We share the collective goal to do great things – for our bodies, for the bodies of others and for the world. From May 12-14, be part of something epic.”