July Favourites – July 2016

Hello and welcome to the first installment of my monthly favourites videos.

Each month I will endeavour to bring you a short clip of myself……talking about my favourite products for the month.  It will be entertaining, enjoyable, informative….I hope.

Anyway, lets get stuck in.  July was a big month for me.  It involved a couple of rounds of chemo, plus a lovely trip away to Melbourne.  It was just what I needed to break up the monotony of life and it has put me in a really good headspace to head into the next few rounds of treatment.

I shall insert the video here for your viewing.  Please feel free to give the video a “thumbs up” on Youtube, or leave your messages here or on my Facebook page.  I love hearing from you all.



My July Favourites

  • Lip products.  My two favourite products I have been trying out this month are Nivea and Chapstick.  they have both worked equally as well but I prefer the chapstick, I don’t have to replace it so often.  I never usually get chapped lips in the winter, but this year I seem to be going through tubes of the stuff.
  • Muesli bars.  I have discovered Nice and Natural protein bars.  These are fairly new on the market but have made a difference in my daily life.  They are great for an afternoon snack.  I find on chemo I need to eat often, so these are great to tie me over from lunch to dinner.  Look out for them in your local supermarket.
  • Grin toothpaste.  As per my previous blog post about Grin, you all know I LOVE this toothpaste.  You can purchase it though some health food stores or their website.
  • My iPad Mini 4.  Chemo has started to affect my eyesight on the odd days.  This happens and is an apparently normal side effect.  The chemo causes the retina to expand and detract, and causes inflammation.  I only get this on the odd day here and there, but I was struggling to read important stuff on my phone, and in the middle of winter it is too cold to sit at the computer and do things like type blog posts.  So, as a treat to myself, I purchased one duty free on my way home from Melbourne.  Best thing ever!

So, there you go!  My favourite products for July.  I will get better at this as time goes by.  I can’t wait to see what I find in August to show you.

Until next time


P.S……stand by!  In the next few days I’ll have my first giveaway sorted.  An awesome tube of Grin Natural toothpaste will be heading to one lucky winner.  I will announce on Facebook and Instagram when the giveaway is ready.

Bowel surgery…not something I thought I would ever have!

So, on Monday 11th April 2016 I had a major surgical procedure, done laproscopically, to remove a nasty tumour from the inside of my bowel.  That’s right.  Bowel Cancer.  Not something I thought I would ever be writing about in my life, but here we are.

The day my life changed – bowel surgery.

After arriving at the lovely Mercy Hospital around 10am, I started freaking out.  As you would.  I was about to have major surgery on this thing in my bowel.  The Thursday before was when I found out about this surgery.  I didn’t have months to prepare, or weeks.  I had from about 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon until Monday morning.

At this stage I had spoken on the phone with the anesthetist, the surgeon and the nurse.  That’s it.  Never met them in my life.  As much as they all tried, they really couldn’t reassure me over the phone that it was all good and straight forward.

So, here I was.  Lying on a hospital bed in the admissions area.  Freaking joe 90.  The nurse noticed.  She was lovely.  She came over and said that once I had signed all the paperwork for surgery and met the surgeon, the lovely anesthetist would give me some relaxing drugs.   Well that worked.  It gave Quinn a great deal of entertainment as I just talked and talked and talked…..and can’t remember a thing!

After being wheeled away….I don’t really recall what happened next, although I do know the spinal block they used hurt like anything when they put it it….and it was instant.  After that…..nothing.

Bowel surgery was a success.

So, the surgeon is pretty sure the surgery was a success.  He told me as much over the next 8 days when he saw me twice a day.  This was not intended but it happened.  I’ll explain further down.  Anyway, so my surgeon, the lovely Mark Thompson-Fawcett, was happy.  He removed the tumour, some lymph nodes and a fallopian tube.  Well, I didn’t need that anyway, so what’s the harm.  He took approximately 30cm of large intestine (bowel).  You have about 1.2 metres inside so I’m ok with missing 30cm.  He then stapled the two ends back together and there you have it.  Successful bowel surgery.

I recovered reasonably quick from the surgery, was up out of bed the same night, walking the next day, and when we had our daily surgeon/patient night meeting on Wednesday night he advised I could go home the next day.  Wow.  3 nights in hospital for major bowel surgery.  The miracles of modern medicine.

What is happening to me?

Wednesday night.  The world changed, again!  Something started happening inside me and no one knew what was going on.  My whole insides blew up to twice the size.  I was like a pregnant woman (no offence to pregnant women, but that is what I looked like).  The nurse was concerned.  The doctor was concerned.  Even the anaesthetist was concerned.

Thursday and Friday were literally the days from hell.  I was in pain.  No one knew where the pain was coming from. One of my surgical wounds was leaking.  No one was sure what it was leaking but there was liquid coming out of it.  Saturday (yes, the weekend) it was decided I needed a CT scan and X-rays.  That didn’t show much.  Sunday I was on so many painkillers and other medication I didn’t really know who I was or what was happening.  I couldn’t talk.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t drink.  I wasn’t me!

Then, at around 3am on Monday morning, the miracle happened.  After the nurse was concerned and phoned the Doctor, a catheter was inserted into my bladder and all my problems disappeared.  Just like magic.

The Doctor’s Diagnosis.

On Monday morning, while feeling quick chipper, the surgeon came for his usual visit.  He explained that he had consulted with the radiographer, a urologist, the anaesthist, and probably a few other specialists.  The outcome of their discussion was that during surgery he had accidently nicked the side of my bladder and there was a pin prick sized hole in it.  The liquid that was leaking out of my wound was my wees.  Yes, that’s right! Wees!

Once the catheter was inserted and the bladder was allowed to deflate and rest, all the problems disappeared.  The downside.  The catheter had to stay there for 2 weeks to allow the bladder to repair itself.  2 weeks.

On Monday evening, the surgeon was so impressed with my recovery I was allowed to go home on Tuesday morning, with the catheter.



Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)