Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I’m stepping away from the usual today and joining in with Bloggers Unite’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month blogging event. 

In the UK, around 48,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It has been estimated that in the US, 230, 480 women will be diagnosed in 2011. But we must remember that although it is more common in women, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer. 

This is a cause very close to my heart, as 4/5 years ago my mother-in-law (MIL) was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say it was a huge shock was an understatement. I cannot remember all the details around diagnosis and treatment as I was very busy at University at the time, but I can remember it being a traumatic and emotional time for all of the family. I felt guilty that I could not support my then fiance fully as I was away during the week. 

Treatment commenced pretty much straight away with my MIL, she had chemotherapy and a mastectomy. She lost all of her hair through the chemo which was a bit traumatic, but she was able to get a wig. After her mastectomy she was able to be fitted for an insert for her bra so it looked like she still had both her breasts. She has considered reconstructive surgery, but she has many other medical problems at the minute so hasn’t gone through with it yet. 

She is now in remission, but has to go to the hospital every week for a check up due to her other medical problems. There have been a couple of scares since where a lump has been found, but this didn’t turn out to be cancer, after checks. 

Thanks to cancer research we are very lucky to have her here with us, and for that we are very grateful. I try to donate and/or sponsor whenever I can. In fact I was going to do a sponsored skydive when I reached my weight loss goal this year, but baby G put that on hold! I did recently complete a sponsored walk for Breakthrough Breast Cancer though. 

If you wish to donate to breast cancer research, please do so through Breast Cancer CareBreakthrough Breast Cancer or Cancer Research UK. Readers in the US can donate through Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I’m not sure of any others in the US but if you do know, then feel free to leave the website in a comment. The majority of these websites also have online shops, so go ahead and purchase something precious for yourself, whilst giving precious life to somebody else. 

PCOS – how it affects

Earlier this month I wrote a post on the facts of PCOS. This post will be about the affect it has had, or it has, on other people.

My experience with PCOS has been quite short in a way, but looking back from during diagnosis and afterwards, I think in a way it has been a lengthy one too. Ever since I started my periods they have been horrendous – heavy, long, never knowing when they were going to start/end. At school I was put on tablets because they were so heavy, but they made me sick so I stopped taking them. And then I went on the contraceptive pill about aged 13, which kind of regulated them and made them not so bad. Then, when I stopped taking it around aged 18 (in 2005), the troubles started again. Mainly irregular periods & very quick weight gain, which I also found very hard to lose so just gave up when I tried (also some excess hair and acne). Then when we decided in 2008 that we would start trying to conceive in the January of 2009, this is when I noticed my periods were worse than ever, not knowing when my next was going to arrive, then when it did lasting for weeks and weeks and weeks, until I finally went to the doctor each time to get norithisterone to stop it. And then many of my readers will know that clomid worked for me in helping to conceive. That’s as far as I will go regarding that, as the rest of my history is here. So, looking back, I’m pretty sure there was something wrong with me before starting the pill, most likely a mild form of PCOS, and the pill made the symptoms worse? 

B’s experience

“When I was told at 19 I had PCOS it totally destroyed my confidence. I knew little about it, but thought that it was just my periods that were messed up. I didn’t know about my hair falling out by handfuls, the huge weight gain and the awful mood swings I get. It’s an invisible disease and no one can understand how it controls a lot of your health (I also suffer from insulin resistance due to PCOS). All of these came to second to when I was told I could never have children. Got everything they crossed the come out with a better treatment for PCOS than metformin”

N’s experience

I know I should go to the GP and talk about it and my infertility but I’m instead hiding away about it, because if it just doesn’t happen I can just say it’s one of those things, we never even went to the GP or anything. But if I go through the tests and the clomid and it still doesn’t happen, there’s just no hope left”

I briefly mentioned about metformin in my previous post about PCOS, which is a drug used to help with weight and regulation of periods/ovulation. There are mixed opinions from users of metformin. One reader (M) says “Metformin actually works and is very effective with PCOS… I had not seen one single AF for a whole year and when I started taking it I lost 12 kilos and I got my AF back”. Another user (L) debated this saying “I’m thinking along the lines that metformin doesn’t always work, I’ve been on it for 6 months now and I haven’t seen AF since”. Both of these readers also mentioned about how they have suffered from depression, as well as a lot of other ladies that I know of who suffer from PCOS.

So, we can see that the physical effects it has on an individual, can vary from person to person, but many emotions remain the same across the board. 

16 weeks

Yesterday was my 16 week mark! 

Gosh, that came around quick! Only 24 more weeks to go, I so want to meet our baby but of course I want him/her fully cooked first, and I still want to enjoy the rest of pregnancy. Bump is slowly expanding, I’m being quite vain and every time I pass a mirror I have to have a quick look to see if it’s grown any since the last time! Oops!

We’re taking bump on his/her first “kind of” holiday a week today! “Kind of” because he/she will be there but not quite know it! We’re going all the way to Haven Devon Cliffs in Exmouth, which should be a lovely 5 hour drive from here with me needing the loo every half an hour! It’s my quarter century birthday while we’re there, so hubby is going to treat me to a couple of spa treatments. Oh yes, it’s only a caravan park but it’s 5* and has its own spa you know! Plus, I haven’t been to Haven and seen Rory since I was teeny, I’m so excited! 

World Prematurity Day – 17th November

So, I have only been blogging since the beginning of this year, but I have been a follower/reader of a very close friends blog since last year. This is where I came across a post about World Prematurity Day, which is on the 17th November this year.

There is going to be a blogging & Twitter event led by March of Dimes, and I feel proud to be a part of it. All this involves is blogging and tweeting about preemies on the day. It would be fabulous if any of my followers/tweeters/bloggers would join in, the more, the better, to raise awareness of such an important subject. 

You need not have had personal experience of having a premature baby, I haven’t. With 1 in 9 babies born premature each year in the UK, you are bound to know one; I do. You could post about someone you know who’s had a premature baby, someone you know who was a premature baby themselves, an article you’ve read, a programme you’ve seen on TV, you could even post a photo, a poem, get your children involved or even do a vlog. 

If you don’t blog but would like to get involved, I’d be happy to have guest posts on my blog; it could be a great opportunity to share your child’s story. It would be fabulous to get as many people involved as possible. 

So why not comment below and pledge to blog/tweet etc. about preemies on the 17th November!

Baby movements

So I’m pretty sure I felt baby G move on Tuesday (15+2)! It was after our midwife appointment, we were at the supermarket and I suddenly felt fluttering in my tummy, you know like when you have one of those twitches you can’t control, and like butterflies! It lasted about 2 or 3 minutes, but I wasn’t sure at first because I didn’t feel anything again until last night when I went to bed, it was exactly the same and lasted 1 or 2 minutes. 

I had to ask people on the forum as I wasn’t sure, I thought it might be my tummy messing me about or rumbling or something, but even so, I’ve never felt anything like this before, so it seems so! When I was reading the replies to my post I felt it again, and I can feel slightly now as I’m writing this!

Hubby keeps trying to feel it, but I told him he won’t be able to feel anything just yet, so he just keeps talking to bump instead, bless him!

When did you first feel your baby move?