Becky’s Cancer Diagnosis – The Movie

popcorn-1085072_1920

INTERIOR – hospital waiting room with mum. The doctor has just told Becky that her condition is likely to be non-cancerous.

ACTION!

NARRATOR (who is really Becky):  I shared with my mum what had been happening. She told me that she had had one of these appointments and it turned out that she had intraductal papilloma which was removed and she went on her merry way.

(Becky exhales)

Yet another signal that I am okay. Most of these conditions are hereditary right? My mum had the benign condition, I was likely to have that. I’d already consoled myself with the fact that no members of my family had ever had breast cancer, I was fit and generally very healthy. Of course I didn’t have cancer. Why was I tripping?

I heard my name called again, I knew this was to go and see a different radiographer that would scan my breast. I expected that because younger women have denser breast and that made it sometimes difficult for mammograms to get a true picture. The room had a bed to my right and a couple of screens to my left on which held my mammograms images. The Radiographer got straight to the point:

RADIOGRAPHER: On your right breast all is as we would expect. However, on your left breast you have what we call microcalcifications. What we will need to do is perform a biopsy. We will place two titanium clips inside you so we know where we went in. This will make it easier to find the spot.

BECKY: Titanium clips?

CUT!

NARRATOR (who is really Becky): Now, I’ll pause the action there because it was a lot of information right? Yes, it was. Consciously my brain wanted to tackle the notion of these titanium clips in my breasts that apparently wouldn’t go off at airports. However, I was stepping over the injured woman in the road to get the bus driver who was trying to help her. Cognitive dissonance.

“In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.” Wikipedia

‘I don’t have cancer’ vs ‘this woman just told me she saw microcalcifications in my breast.’

…and ACTION!

BECKY: So do I have a choice as to whether I have these titanium clips?

NARRATOR (who is really Becky): If this woman was a non-clinical traditional Jamaican grandmother, she might have kissed her teeth and tell me that I would be lucky to have a titty in a few weeks, never mind a couple metal clips. But as luck would have it she wasn’t. Although she displayed a little annoyance at the ignorance of my question.

RADIOGRAPHER: No, you don’t have a choice.

NARRATOR (who is really Becky): I managed to find the words to ask about the microcalcifications. I read just a few days ago that microcalcifications in the breast are sometimes cancer. I remember the word because I thought it was weird that calcium was connected to cancer. Wasn’t calcium the good guy? You know the one we all told we must drink more milk in order to get enough of? I later learned that calcium is the wonderful stuff we all need to make our bones and teeth harder. However, when it is in soft tissue, it hardens and therefore becomes deemed as abnormal. I now know that if my immune system was strong enough it would have fought this abnormality and the cells would most likely not have not reproduced to become cancerous.

I asked “ I know that calcification can sometimes means cancer, so if it’s not cancer, what is it?”

Radiographer: Well, if it wasn’t cancer these white spots we see on your image would be clumped together. Your cells are not clumped together.

FLATLINE (SFX)

CUT!

My 3 Month Cancer Whirlwind

WIN_20170507_20_21_33_Pro

This was taken as I was making my 2nd cancer diagnosis video for Youtube in early May 17. 

The last 3 months have been a whirlwind of stress, upheaval, lessons in controlling my mind, my diet and my environment. They have given me time to focus on what is truly important in my life – my daughter and family are everything! 

I have been enlightened greatly and have had much time to reflect on what I have learned and experienced as a result of my breast cancer diagnosis on 28th April 2017. 

  • I have learnt how important it is to keep only positive people in my circle.
  • I have shared my most private and most detrimental moments with the world (with no regret – it’s for the greater good). I know that already it has prompted people to go to the doctors and get things checked out. Yay!
  • I have experienced the true love of a family that is intensified when crap happens.
  • I have learned to stay calm when minutes before your surgery, you are being told “You have a 50/50 chance of making it through the operation as we have just rediscovered your heart murmur and your heart may not be strong enough to deal with the pressure”.
  • I have learned that not everyone can deal with your cancer diagnosis. Whilst others become selfless in their pursuit of making you comfortable and cancer-educated. Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of discovering those who get excited at the thought you could die (always check who you are sending texts to).
  • I have felt the power of healing through my body as my recovery is amazing even the doctors.
  • I am learning how to make my body nutrient abundant and thus a hostile environment for a recurrence.
  • I discovered this week that I will not have to have chemo (as it came back on the cards).
  • I have experienced the full force of my creator who clearly has other plans for me and I cannot find enough words to show my gratitude. Trust me, I will not let you down. 
  • I know that my perspective, my need to help others and belief that I have much more work to do, has helped me to deal with this whole situation emotionally and spiritually. 
  • I have learned that cancer is on the rise – nearly 1 in 2 people will now get some form of cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 8 will get breast cancer. I now know that causes are closely linked to our diet and environment, yet we are being told more about finding cures over promotion of prevention. 

I am now 5 weeks post surgery and almost 3 months post diagnosis – the enlightenment continues…

Reppin’ for the Trolls!

After watching the Trolls movie with my daughter, for the first time,  I am officially and unashamedly a new fan.

“Why”?

Well, apart from being a well made, aesthetically pleasing, feel-good, and a thoroughly enjoyable movie, I realise that I am a troll! I have always been a troll. I just didn’t know it until now. 

Many real-life Bergens, (the pitiful creatures in the movie, who don’t know how to be happy) never understood where my happiness and joy came from. Just like those in the movie, they believed they had to destroy a troll in order to feel the joy. I used to sometimes hide my troll-like nature as it was too much for some others. If I lived by their rules, I was supposed to wallow in misery, thrive in anger and walk around under a rain cloud of doom.

But nah, never that! That’s not in my nature. 

I am a Troll whose hearts sings, dances, laughs, appreciates, is grateful and acknowledges it is blessed with the ability to beat! 

I’m a troll for life! 

23cm-Trolls-Mega-Town-The-Good-Luck-Trolls-Ogres-Poppy-Branch-Dream-Works-Doll-Cartoon-Movie

The Selfie

Today she put on one of her favourite dresses, did her make up and hair, then took this selfie. A million thoughts dash through her mind hourly on what could have been, what still could be, who she was and who she is now. She has no answers. Instead she smiles and presses the button.

20046408_10159375844690221_6397461407555632034_n

Today I Met the New Becky

Kiss ass networking

Paula (3rd from the left) with fellow Kick Ass Business women Leila, Shanta and Wendy (L to R).

Today, I met the new Becky as she publicly and in-person told a group of people about her cancer diagnosis and how this is changing her life for the better. This happened at my sister, Paula’s Kick Ass business networking event.

 

It is week 3 post operation. I went with my mum and daughter to break up the monotony of staying at home. It was the first time since my surgery I had attended any sort of social event. More than anything, I was looking forward to lunch at Bearwood’s Kings Head Pub. I didn’t expect to meet her but when my sister asked me to speak for 60 seconds (like everyone else), to my surprise the new Becky made an appearance.

She was scared, I could tell. Her heart rate had doubled and she was wringing her fingers. She was definitely uneasy because she is no longer the old familiar Becky with the pre-diagnosis confidence. But she is this new, unexplored, uncharted Becky who has gone through an enormous shell shock not only mentally and physically but also spiritually.

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely on old thought patterns to work her way through a conversation. Every second a trillion thoughts passes through her mind, could I trust the new Becky would pick the right words when responding to friends and strangers alike?19657157_10159341521030221_432370244410654052_n

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely upon the old body confidence she had, because back then she knew every inch of her perfections and flaws. Would she crack when people tried to sneak a peak at her new frame?

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely on her previous perspective of the world

 

This one is completely new and is formulating the whole time. Could this version of Becky express her thoughts as eloquently as her predecessor?

This new Becky is way ahead of me and my limiting beliefs. Although she was scared, unsure of her new body and working through her new way of seeing things, she spoke with a level of strength, self-assurance and wisdom I have never witnessed.

Yes, she was uneasy but she shared anyway, and with each word yielded, she grew that little bit taller. Almost as if her new self was being rewarded with new layers of clay reinforcements for every shared expression. 

new becky

The new Becky

 

Okay, so she was still getting used to her new body but actually she remembered: it is new and improved. She is nipped and tucked and learning to understand the benefits of this. She knows in time she will be completely ready to show the world what she is working with.

The fact her perspective has changed, is actually a bonus! Her new eyes had been unwrapped, put in place and glistened with the excitement of fresh possibilities. She began to see where she would fit into this unseen world and where she would place herself to not only serve others but finally serve herself (this was a big issue of the old Becky).

The new Becky is gangster! She is a wise new lady. She is the woman I never imagined I could ever be. What a gift! I am honoured and privileged to step into her being. I do not take this position for granted. I step into her greatness fully acknowledging the blessing that has been bestowed upon me, knowing many have not been afforded this opportunity.

Thank you xxx

 

How to Act Around Someone with Cancer

Okay, maybe I should rephrase that, as I cannot possibly speak for everyone who has cancer. It should read: ‘How to Act Around Becky Knowing She has Cancer’

19693395_10159314364800221_2968488609489952861_o

My sister Paula & friend Petra showing love & support before my operation.

Dealing with other people’s reactions to my cancer diagnosis, has been one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Once I made the announcement that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, people started doing some really strange things and I found them remarkably interesting, yet confusing.

Many friends have said to me, that they just did not know what to say to me, and I get it. I have been around people who have had terminal cancer and I spluttered to say ‘I don’t know what to say. I honestly didn’t! These people were dying and in my mind, I couldn’t possibly say anything that would add any value to their precious remaining days. 

However, I do not have terminal cancer. I am not dying from the disease. I have/hopefully had (still awaiting results) early stage breast cancer. Yet people still find it difficult to know what to say or how to act. I have been around some of the most wise and confident people who have turned into meek mice upon seeing me.

Therefore, I felt it necessary to try to help people who just cannot find the right words or just do not know how to act when they see me. I have created a list of dos and don’ts. They are based upon the support I need (and have received) as well as some of the responses I have already experienced: 

Don’ts (please)

  1. If you are a good friend of mine or a relative, please do not rely on what I put on social media as a way of finding out how I really am. As much as it might look like it, I don’t share all the details of my wellbeing on Facebook. When you do not contact me, as much as my logic might tell me otherwise, it often feels as though you don’t care.
  2. Please do not tell me about your friend who had breast cancer and died. Without seeing my medical notes, you do not know exactly what type of breast cancer I have. Telling me about your friend dying really does not fill me with any encouragement. What I need more than anything is hope and encouragement.
  3. If you are not a good friend, please do not ask me intrusive questions about my treatment. If I wanted to share that information, I would. Please respect my personal boundaries.
  4. Please do not assume that all cancers are the same or have the same result. There are lots of cancers, some a lot more detrimental than others. They do not all result in death.
  5. Everyone who knows me, knows that I had breast cancer, so please do not stare at my chest area when you see me. I post pictures on social media; you are welcome to look at those at your leisure. It’s uncomfortable for both you and I when I catch your eye.
19402042_10159238581175221_71823138127494876_o

Beautiful flowers & balloon sent to me from my Aunt Diana.

Dos (please)

  1. Send me a text or a card to say you are thinking of me every now and again.
  2. Send me flowers with just your name. It tells me that I am in your thoughts.
  3. If you are a good friend, I invite you to ask me about my condition. I actually want to talk about it, it’s therapeutic.
  4. If you are someone I only know through social media, it is fine to post a heart, a kiss or a comment such as ‘I hope you are doing well.’
  5. If you see me out and about, it is perfectly fine just to ask “How are you?” and upon receiving my short reply, “I am not too bad thank you,” you are welcome to talk about something else that makes you feel much more comfortable.
  6. Please feel free to engage me in conversations that have nothing to do with cancer. I am much more than this disease and would like to talk about other topics. I am a whole person with many different interests. 
  7. Please do crack jokes and have fun around me. My natural default is to laugh; it’s great for my mental and spiritual wellbeing. 
  8. Please, please please, become cancer conscious for yourself and your family. Understand some of the tell-tale signs and be brave enough to go the doctor to get it checked out. Applying this knowledge could save your life. It saved mine.

heart-1567215_1280

With all that being said, I know that 99% of people who I interact with only have good intentions and act according to those intentions. Therefore, if you have done or said any of the above ‘don’ts’ or anything else I may have found uncomfortable, do not worry. I have not been offended; I have had to learn that the fear of cancer makes most people a little wobbly – understandably.

Thank you very much to everyone that has reached out in love. I appreciate it very much and it really has helped me to feel positive and hopeful for the future.

Thank you

Becky xxx