• Breast cancer,  Health

    Drika Louw – Breast Cancer Survivor

    I named my cancer journey the roller coaster as I felt like I was on a roller coaster from the moment it all started. With a roller coaster you have the 4 parts: ​ Being strapped in and waiting (15/05/2017) The climb (26/05/2017) – The longest part of the roller coaster The free fall (26/06/2018) The stopping moment   Being strapped in and waiting: The first part of my roller coaster started in the first week of May 2017. Just before my Dad’s 50th birthday. I noticed some small changes and felt a lump in my breast while doing a self-examination. I knew I had a strong family history with…

  • Breast cancer,  Health

    Steve Kelly – Breast Cancer Survivor “Everyday is a gift. Live life to the fullest.”

    Detection In December 2018 my partner Sandy noticed something unusual in my right breast. There was a lump behind the nipple. The lump was not visible from the outside; however, if you looked carefully, you could see that the nipple was slightly inverted. This was painless, and I did not feel ill. ​ Diagnosis I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Grade 3 Breast Cancer. The lump was a ductal carcinoma, approximately 17mm in diameter, or roughly the size of a marble. This is a common type of breast cancer; the standard international treatment protocols apply. ​ Surgery I had surgery the following week, as the primary treatment. The procedure is known as…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer,  Health,  Nutrition

    What do I eat?

    What are we supposed to eat after cancer? I reckon this is has to be one of the most asked questions by anyone that has had cancer. A question, I have been asked a lot. Even after diagnosis, I was thinking about my diet because it was colon cancer. This can apply to anyone to be honest, we all would like to know more about which foods will keep us fit and healthy. I have thought long and hard about how to blog about food as it is a very conflicted area when it comes to cancer, in fact, this is my third edit. So, I have decided to walk…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer,  Health,  Mental Health

    Immu ‘no’ therapy!

    My oncologist, Adam Nosworthy recommended that after I had full recovered from my infection (post liver resection) I would do six sessions of immunotherapy (over three months) as a preventative of recurrence and I agreed to it. I started immunotherapy (Vectibix) on the 4th January at my oncology clinic (where I had my chemo) and I went in there positive that this was the last chapter and that it would be an easy one. I had IV steroids to start via my Portacath and then my immunotherapy was administered on a drip that took maybe one hour. I felt fine and left the clinic smiling. The steroids were my biggest…

  • Health,  Lifestyle

    Turmeric and Black Pepper Anyone?

    After much procrastination, I finally sat down and began to collate ideas about how I can inform others about my nutrition and supplement choices. Before I start, I am not a qualified nutritionist, dietician or medical doctor. I am writing about my choices, choices I have made through reading and researching, talking to people (who have also researched) as well as trial and error. These changes are not just about preventing a recurrence, it’s about having healthy eating habits, a positive mindset towards food, having energy, regular bowel movements, plenty of micronutrients and useful supplementation. When chemotherapy ended, I suddenly felt heightened anxiety and began to really panic about my…

  • Fitness,  Lifestyle,  Mental Health

    Consistency and the Two Big C’s

    We all know that consistency is key and that most our results in fitness and nutrition come from this consistency but how do we stay consistent when life keeps throwing us curve balls? I have struggled with consistency in fitness and have been guilty of program hopping (you should see all the PDF’s in my iBooks folder) even though I would tell myself ‘Just stick to something Jo! ‘ After the birth of my daughter, I had a period (2016) of consistency with the BBG program and lost my baby weight. I was also running and committed enough to run a half marathon. Even in 2017 after I settled back…

  • Health

    Infection and liver abscess – I know, I know, last yukky post!

    I wanted to get this post done and dusted so that I can start writing about more joyful topics! I touched on my infection in the last post. Infection is a reminder that even when surgery is over, there are still risks lurking! After returning home, I’d say about a week or so in, I started to feel ‘off’, I knew I would be fatigued post liver surgery but as usual my body was trying to send me a message and intuitively I knew something wasn’t right. I also had pain on my back around the right rib cage, painkillers were not working. I had my follow up with Prof.…

  • Health,  Surgery

    Liver Resection and Recovery

    It’s been a while but I have finally kicked myself into gear and written a post!! It’s a long one but every detail highlights my journey, ups and downs…… If you have been following my story, you should know that I went into remission or at least it seemed that way in May and if you are just reading my journey for the first time, I will try to explain as much as I can! I had a great clinical response to my chemotherapy and the six lesions that I had in my liver appeared to have calcified. Scans of any kind are not 100% accurate, a cancer cell is…

  • Bowel cancer,  Health,  Mental Health,  Positivity

    Nobody Said It Would Be Easy

    Following the birth of her eldest daughter in 2013, Laura Stephenson gave birth to twin girls on April 25th 2017.  There was huge excitement among all the family, her mother, her two sisters, in-laws and of course myself, her dad. Two identical girls that arrived amidst lots of questions:-  Are there twins in the family , how do you feed two at the same time, do they both sleep at the same time, will Mum and Dad get any more sleep, the need for a twin pram, can we fit 3 car seats in the back of the car.  Lots of questions all based around the twins.  In the middle…

  • Colon cancer,  Health,  Mental Health

    Martha’s story – La historia de Martha

    My name is Martha, I am 48 years old and I live in Florida. I was diagnosed with colon cancer on December 20, 2017 at age 45; this is my story.   I am the mother of two beautiful young children and the wife of a wonderful man. The fourth of five sisters created by good parents, especially my mother. My life changed in December 2017 when what I thought was a simple problem of exhaustion turned into a nightmare. It was during a very important time, my daughter was turning 15 which is a tradition for young Latino women, the celebration of her 15 years. We were preparing a…