Friday, 20 February 2015

My Mum Was Diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer

This post has been in draft form for a long time. Unfortunately, I had other thing's in life to prioritise and I finally sat down last night to re-edit etc. If this post prod's someone to self-check and/or make a Breast Cancer Screening appointment that's the point of writing this. 

Check your boobies regularly!

January 2015

This is a post I thought I'd never write. I don't know why I thought that but there's no family history of breast cancer so it has come as quite a shock.

My Mum has been ill for a few month's constantly feeling tired but she has a few other health problem's like a bad Lung, Arthritis, a constantly sore back, trouble walking and a Liver problem.

It was because she had trouble breathing and was in a great deal of pain on 30th December she went into Emergency to find the cause and after about 6 hour's of waiting for result's and a scan the Dr came to us with new's everything appeared to be okay. Mum was no longer in pain and wanted to go home (as did I) and then the Dr said but we found a small thing we're concerned about in your Scan (she'd had a full body scan) of your left breast. The Dr wrote a letter for Mum and sent it to her doctor for Mum to have a Mammogram.

Now this is where I cannot stress enough the importance of having a yearly Mammogram because I was shocked to find out my Mum hadn't had a Mammogram for at least 5 year's! The thing's you find out when Dr's ask's question's. Mum's excuse was because she's over the age of where it's FREE and she thought she'd be okay. I was extremely shocked to hear this and angry. If only she'd told me. Her excuse was it cost's a lot of money, money that I need to pay bill's etc. and I agree Mammogram's are expensive, if your not covered, it's once a year you have to come up with the money and if my Mum had said she had difficulty finding the money to have her scan I would've at least tried to come up with half the money but no she decided it wasn't necessary and that's not right way of thinking!

Now that we know she hadn't had a Mammogram for 5 year's she was sent within a few day's to have one as an emergency at the hospital and because she had a Dr's letter it was free. The result's came back within a few day's and they were inconclusive so they arranged for Mum to go have a biopsy which basically mean's they take a sample from the breast and send it off to be tested by Breast Cancer Dr's.

I don't know how much they took or what the result of that was exactly but they sent her back to the Breast Screening Clinic and she had a Nurse do a proper examination again and another biopsy and the same day she was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the end waiting around for another 3 or 4 hour's they had given her a date to turn up to hospital for the lump removal and talked to her about having Radiotherapy. We live in a small town so the only hospital close enough for cancer treatment is 4 hour's away each way in Hamilton so my Mum will travel there for Radiotherapy. There's been no talk of Mastectomy. I hope it's not necessary but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Whilst waiting for the hospital admission date, the hospital rang her to give her pre-operation care eg. don't eat the night before, bring your own clothes, toiletries etc and any medication's must be given to the Anaesthetist so he can adjust the dosage for the general anaesthetic etc. During this phone call my Mum coughed a few time's and the nurse checked her notes from the blood test's she'd had and found Mum had an Infection. Immediately the operation was cancelled. They told Mum to come to the hospital after a 7 day treatment of Antibiotics, they left it too late in the day (a Friday) for her to go to the Dr to get a prescription so she was in pain for 3 day's. They also failed to tell her in the 10 day's since her blood test that she had an infection and so there's been an official investigation launched into the failure to communicate to the patient she had an infection and therefore the operation was cancelled. My family aren't impressed by the hospital's lack of communication.

Early February 2015

I want to spread how important it is for you have a yearly Mammogram, you regularly self-check your breast's and if you notice any difference in your health or your breast eg tiredness or maybe some puckering or discharge from your breast and there might be changes to your breast's during your period, you immediately see your Dr to get a referral for a Mammogram. If you arrange it through your Dr the chances are it will be at your local hospital and it won't cost you anything but even if it cost's $150 or $200 it's once a year until you qualify for your local breast screening in your country. Assuming you have such a thing. I know it's different from country to country but here in NZ and in Australia I think after a certain age you qualify for a free screening.
Please talk about any changes with your sister, friend, mother and make an appointment to see your Dr as soon as possible. Please don't think Breast Cancer can't happen to you. I've had a 24 year old friend go through breast cancer, a friend in her 30's with breast cancer. Breast Cancer can happen to anyone (men or women) between the age's of 17 into your 70's.

20th February 2015

Fast forward 3 week's and Mum is out of hospital for the Infection and has been on an at home IV with Antibiotics for about 10 day's, they're sending her for another blood test this Tuesday to see if the medication is killing her infection or if they have to up the dosage, we hope it's not the latter.

Today, 20th February with Mum's 75th birthday on the 22nd, we still don't have a breast cancer operation date. It's getting ridiculous that even though it's Stage 1, thing's seem to be taking too long. I don't know how long Mum will be in hospital the next time or when she'll be sent to Hamilton for Radiation treatment but that's 4 hour's each way from where we live.

Please self-check regularly. Breast Cancer doesn't care how old you are, or your sex. I didn't know this until recently but Men are diagnosed with breast cancer too!

TODAY 7 WOMEN will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
THIS YEAR 650 will most likely die.
YET 30% of eligible women don't have regular mammograms.
AND 60% of young women don't know the signs beyond a lump.

The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation has information here about Breast Cancer, what you should do, a link to a PDF you can printout as a shower card to show you how to self-check is here. Information about Mammogram's is here.

I'll update you again once Mum's had her operation (as at today, we still don't know a date) but we're hoping after her blood test on Tuesday she's closer to her being Admitted to hospital to have it removed. It's Breast Cancer Stage 1 - it's still scary knowing it's still in there and it's life-threatening.

I hope this explain's why I haven't posted on my blog for a long time. I posted about Mum's breast cancer diagnosis on my Twitter a few week's ago but I was still trying to let the new's sink in so that's why this post wasn't published earlier. I hope also this post prompt's you to self-check, notice any changes or unsure, go see your Dr immediately. #CheckThemBoobies #BreastCancerAwareness

Friday, 16 January 2015

Kotex : Overnight Ultrathin Pads

Updated: 20th January 2015


Let's face it, menstruation aka period's are inconvenient most of the time because we have made plan's month's earlier to go on Summer holiday and enjoy swimming, beaches etc. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes can't avoid it and some may think I'm being TMI but I recently found my holy grail pad! Yes, you read that right. After lengthy testing for a couple of month's I want to share with you why I like this product enough to write about it. This post isn't Sponsored.

Firstly, a little bit about me. I started my period as a 14 year old, a lot of my friend's got them at 12 or 13 so I was a late bloomer. I still remember my first one like it was yesterday. My Mum was in hospital and my Dad was taking care of me. In the middle of the night I had to wake my Dad to find where my Mum kept her pad's. I was embarrassed but he was great (a lot better than I thought).

At breakfast I was a still little embarrassed to see my Dad since the middle-of-the-night but he carried on like nothing happened but then I overhead him telling my Mum on the phone and she was upset she wasn't home for my first time but Dad said I seemed to know what to do and when Mum was better he said she could take me shopping for my first packet of pad's. I'd already had the shopping trip with Mum to buy my first bra about a year earlier. I think about it now and laugh but as a 14 year old I wanted the ground to swallow me up, rather than my Dad know I was on my period. 

If you'd like to know more about what happen's to your body during your period click here. I'm not claiming to be an expert on Women's Health but I know sometime's period's can arrive unexpectedly and I was never one to get mine on a certain day of the month (until I was on the pill). This month my period was 5 day's late and I'm not on the pill now plus there's no reason to panic. Different thing's affect our bodyclock's; like stress, lack of sleep, diet etc. I suffer from Dysmenorrhea (painful period cramp's). I also have PCOS and Endometriosis which are a likely cause of dysmenorrhea. I've had painful cramp's since my teen's and there's no sign of them easing. Most notably my back aches, I sometimes get very strong ovary pain and double-over in agony and the first few day's I get a headache plus the bloating. No over the counter anti-cramp pill help's me so I take an Ibuprofen and when it's really painful I take a Mersyndol, which I keep around because I do also suffer from the occasional Migraine. Some month's I have less pain than other's. This month hasn't been too bad.

From my early 20's to late 20's I suffered from Amenorrhoea which basically mean's long-term irregular period's. The longest time I didn't have a period was 4 year's (I was no longer the pill and wanted to get pregnant) at the time there wasn't any talk of PCOS and Endometriosis and I felt the problem was more severe than an absent period but several doctor's I saw were just GP's and said my lack of period was probably my body adjusting to coming off the pill, or work stress and to relax because it'll come back when it want's - it didn't. I finally got a referral to see a Gynaecologist and I had to take awful hormone medication to kickstart my period's and it didn't work right away, it took over 3 month's. I still get them (when they want to come) but at least it's every month.

After trying so many other brand's and being constantly let down by other product's eg. the pad moved in my sleep or it just didn't give me the right protection, it didn't feel right, it didn't have wing's or dryness built-in etc. there's so many thing's I didn't like and past pad's have let me down, thankfully not in public. 
What I like about the Kotex Overnight Ultrathins

Kotex Ultrathins are ultrathin and absorbent. I bought the 10 Overnight Ultrathin pad's pack. I also used them during the day and found they gave me a very high level of protection during a busy day. Kotex Ultrathins have micro<MAX TECHNOLOGY (whatever that is), a rapid-dry core to keep you dry and comfortable, the 3D rapid-dry core draw's moisture away for instant dryness, grooves channel the moisture into the centre of the pad, they also have secure wing's to keep the pad in place, it's soft and super thin and it has extra width and length for added protection. 

I'm so happy with this particular one I see no reason to try other's. Tampon's and I just don't get along (never have, never will). I thought because these pad's work's so well for me I'd tell you about them so you can try them and see if they work for you! I don't normally post about women's hygiene product's but I thought if it help's at least one other lady out there whose struggling to feel comfortable wearing a pad it's definitely worth it! I'd also like to see more beauty blogger's share their preferred brand's of product's especially feminine wash product's. 

On my blog (April 2013) I reviewed a bottle of feminine wash by Summer's Eve, you can read about it here. On the video I received a lot of comment's saying thankyou for showing and talking about this because I'll give it a try but I also received nasty comment's that it wasn't related to beauty, it was TMI. Why can't we review feminine hygiene's product without criticism?

Why don't we as beauty blogger's talk more about feminine hygiene product's? I just don't get why other's don't address it, yes it's a bit awkward but it's part of life. I'll probably post another one or two feminine hygiene product post's this year because there's a couple of other thing's I want to try, another feminine wash and scented bag's. I'll definitely write about them and let you know if I think the product was worth trying etc.

Thanks for sticking with me on this longer than I thought post. I hope there are some of you out there that are willing to give Kotex Ultrathins a try and it'd be nice to hear from you, if you did or didn't like them and if you want to be discreet, please ask me and I'll  give you my email address.

20th January 2015

I reached out to Kotex a few day's ago to ask them how my reader's could request a free sample and they responded today giving me a FREE SAMPLE link. Click there and enter your address and they'll send you a sample in the post. This is only for New Zealand resident's.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What's In My Bag? [Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac]

I've never made a WIMB video before so I thought I'd show my Rebecca Minkoff bag. 

I hope you like it, it's a fantastic little everyday bag for me!
Let me know if you have this bag or if you'd like to know more about it, comment below.

My Affiliate link to The Iconic is in the info bar on the video on my YouTube channel.

Thanks for Watching!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Wardrobe/Closet Storage Solution

This is my first post of 2015 and I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a nice start to the New Year! Christmas was a quiet one for me at my parent's from Christmas Eve and then back home on Boxing Day. I've had lot's of time to do job's I'd been putting off around my flat for the past few month's.

If you watched What I Got For Christmas I showed this storage solution and I finally got around to taking it out of the packaging, fold the clean clothes waiting to be put away from the washing line etc. I folded it all into piles and then placed them onto the shelves as best I could. Some item's are bulky.
I needed something simple to tackle my lack of storage as well as something affordable. When I saw these in the store I wasn't too keen on this becoming a long-term solution but for now and not having had anywhere to store my clothes and towel's etc I figured it was a start so I picked up two of these, which were reduced from $24.99 each to $17.50 each. I'm thinking of buying another one to store my sheet's, duvet's and a few more towel's etc.

The dimensions are 30cm x 30cm x 100cm and it's 100% unbleached canvas and the blurb on the back of the product says unbleached canvas storage accessories and bag's are the best choice for storing your clothes, especially those made of leather, fur, or natural fibres because canvas breathes.

What I like about this organizer when I picked it up in the store is it hang's over your existing wardrobe rail so you don't need any DIY skill's or tool's to fix it inside your wardrobe, it's a simple velcro system plus the shelving is heavy duty canvas, it's breathable, dust resistant and repels insect's.
Here's what I put into the two I've placed inside my wardrobe. Towel's, hand towel's, a beach towel and bath mat's. On the right hand side bra's, undies, more undies, tank top's and nighties. Not having a laundry cupboard or room in my bathroom to put even a small cupboard for towel's these were, until now, stored in a big plastic tub in my spare room, this system is a lot easier for me because I go into my wardrobe to choose clothes to wear before I go to the bathroom and shower. I could've made it a little bit neater but some of the towel's are big one's and all the shelves are the same depth.

Now that I've got this sorted I can move onto other job's I've been putting off like starting a DIY project on a second hand bookcase which I'm going to paint white look for a proper cupboard to store a few other thing's, now that we're almost back to regular store hour's etc I'm sure I'll have these thing's sorted in the next week or two. Then the next thing to tackle is creating a permanent filming setup and decorate my spare room/office and buying a few more pieces of furniture.

I had no furniture before I moved into this unfurnished flat apart from plastic storage bin's, a mirror, a clock, a few kitchen thing's and a new queen bed and mattress I bought a few week's before moving from the housesitting apartment. When your not expecting to fully furnish a new place, it can be quite stressful so I had to go with loaned item's and second hand furniture. I plan on giving the loaned item's back soon and replacing those thing's with second hand item's I can buy cheaply and I'll sand and paint them to make them look nice. I like modern but I also antique, vintage and chabby chic.

You can buy it in-store or online from Briscoes here (NZ only) & it's still $17.49 each!

Thanks for stopping by, if you have any question's about it, please comment below.


This post isn't Sponsored by EASI or Briscoes. I bought the storage with my own money. All opinion's are 100% honest and are my own word's and photo's.

Please don't reproduce my content on your site. If you'd like to share my post's on social media, please link to my original post, or to my blog: thankyou.

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