Baldness, BCSM, Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Coppafeel!, Hair loss, Hair regrowth, Health, Running, UK, Women's Health

Boobettes and Blood Tests

20130706-165455.jpgThis week I gave my first breast cancer awareness talk to a class of young women at Notre Dame school in south London. It was my first experience as one of the ‘Boobettes,’ a group of young women who’ve all had breast cancer or some kind of scare and who are now helping Coppafeel! spread the message to boys and girls around the UK to check their boobs.

I did the presentation with Jo, a fellow breast cancer survivor who had the disease at the remarkably young age of 21 and who is doing fabulously now, 15 years later. I talked about my personal experience while Jo talked more about the charity. The teenage girls were very receptive and asked everything from “Do you sometimes have to have your boob chopped off?” to “Are you going to be able to have children?” Ah, life’s big questions! Let’s just say I got a proper grilling, but I didn’t mind.

image (2)Here I am, coppin’ a feel, and above with Jo, Coppafeel!’s Maren and a giant boob.

The next day, I got some results back from a blood test I’d had earlier in the week at my local doctors. It was my first blood test since December, and I was quite alarmed to discover that my blood counts have not returned to normal since finishing chemotherapy. My white blood cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes are still lower than they should be, meaning my immune system hasn’t returned to normal and I’m not quite the strong ox I thought I was. There’s nothing I can do to raise the blood counts, but my GP is writing to my oncologist to see if anything needs to be done. Given that I haven’t had so much as a cold since before Christmas, I thought my immune system must be pretty strong, but maybe I’ve just been lucky.

image (3)Meanwhile, my hair has been growing pretty nicely and is starting to look a bit like my Dad’s. If I don’t comb it down when I get out the shower, it sticks up hedgehog-style, so here’s a pic of me post-shower and au naturel, with Pricey Senior. Also note my make-up-less eyebrows, which are still a shadow of their former selves but slowly, slowly getting there. (The eyelashes, on the other hand, are pretty much back to their pre-chemo state).

This morning I did my final bit of training for the 10k Race for Life I’m doing in London next Sunday (14th July). I practically killed myself running up and down the hills of Yorkshire in 25C heat today and I haven’t managed to run 10k in less than an hour yet, but I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. If you’d like to sponsor me and Team Stylist 10 to raise money for the all-important life-saving charity that is Cancer Research UK, please click here.

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Finally, I thought you might like to see this picture of me after my first post-treatment 3k run (in the snow) in February, vs. my third 10k run (in the boiling sunshine) today. Evidentally I’m not looking quite so much like a cancer patient these days. Cancer, we’re coming to get you!

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6 thoughts on “Boobettes and Blood Tests

  1. You are looking great. It’s so exciting when the hair starts to get length bit by bit. I say rock that hedgehog look! On a more sombre note, I hope your counts come up soon and your immune system begins to reflect how you good feel. Take care, Catherine

    • Thanks, yeah it’s exciting getting entirely new hair that does something different every day! Who knows about the bloods. I’m going travelling next month so I’m going to have to be very careful not to get sick! Take care, Laura xx

  2. Looking forward to my talk soon. Looks like it well fantastically well.

    Blimey, the questions were to the point! Bet you dealt with them well though.

    I hope your blood count gets back to normal soon and your running is an inspiration to me – better get my trainers on!!

    Kirsty xx

    • Thanks Kirsty, looking forward to hearing how your first talk goes! Yeah we definitely got a grilling but they were really friendly and genuinely interested and I’m sure you can just not answer if you don’t feel comfortable. Hope you’re having a great sunny weekend! Xx

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