Archives for posts with tag: humor

My blog has a new home on the Huffington Post UK website. You can read it by clicking on this link, or click here:

Here’s a preview:

For those of you who didn’t read the WordPress blog from the beginning, the new HuffPost blog is a good place to start as I go right back to the day I was diagnosed.

For those of you who have read the original blog from the start, please don’t dismiss the new one as there’s loads of original material and I’ve told the story differently. It might be a bit samey initially, but once I get up to the present day, both blogs will be aligned.

I need all the support I can get, so please click the button to become a Fan, follow me on Twitter @bigscaryCword and comment as much as you like on any of the posts! The more, the merrier!

Thank you all so much for your continuing love and support,


Hi, I’m Candy Pink and I’m 30 years old. Earlier this year, I found a lump in my breast. I went straight to the doctor and was fortunate enough to have discovered the cancer before it had chance to spread anywhere else in my body. I am now half way through chemotherapy treatment and feel lucky every day that I found the cancer when I did.

October is breast cancer awareness month all over the world. If you’re reading this blog, then you are no doubt fully aware of the existence of breast cancer. But when was the last time you actually checked your breasts?

It only takes a minute, and it’s easy. You’re not just looking for a lump, but any change in appearance, a rash, discolouration, discharge or pain.

If you find anything unusual, make an appointment with your doctor straight away. In most cases it will be nothing to worry about, but ignoring it is the absolute worst thing you can do. If I had ignored my symptoms, I could have lost a lot more than just my hair.

Men: this does not just apply to your wife, sister, girlfriend or mother. Men can have breast cancer too, so check yourself out right now.

Take a look at this link on the Breast Cancer Care UK website for more information:

To see the video for this post:

Whatever you do, don’t ignore this message. Thanks!

I went to the hospital this morning to test my blood count to see if I’m ready to have round three of chemo tomorrow. Unfortunately, after all it has been through, my blood is now refusing to exit my body, so it was a bit of a painful process as the nurse prodded and poked at me, wondering if it might be easier to get blood out of a stone.

Rather than make the 3-hour round trip to the hospital in Manchester just for one blood test, we then decided to make the most of the journey and go to the nearby Trafford Centre for some shopping and lunch. I purchased this rather fetching trapper hat and a new coat and gloves for the winter weather that is fast descending on us. I’m pretty sure nobody will even dare to call me ‘Chemo’ in this baby!

It was a good job we didn’t drive straight home because the nurse called back just as we were leaving the Trafford Centre and asked me to go back to the hospital. Unfortunately, my blood count was even lower than it was last time, meaning I’m unfit for chemo tomorrow. My immune system is obviously getting a battering but it’s odd because I feel perfectly well. I did have a hunch that my count wasn’t going to measure up though, as last week I started feeling a little shaky and weak in the exact same way I felt after round one.

The oncologist prescribed me some steroids, which I am to take now and in the morning before heading back to the hospital tomorrow for another test. If the steroids work, round three should go ahead. However, if it doesn’t work, I may have to switch to weekly chemo sessions instead of three-weekly ones. I know this will mean a different dosage so perhaps it won’t make me ill for quite as long, but frankly, I’d like to avoid the change of medication. The current three-week cycle plan is convenient because it gives me at least a week of relative normality before I have to go back to chemo hell again. I don’t really fancy non-stop chemo hell for the next few months…

Oh, and one of the nurses told me I won’t get a wink of sleep tonight because of the steroids. Thanks for the optimism!

Otherwise, I’m all set for chemo. I got my fingers and toenails painted on Friday at the salon (by a girl who turned out to be my best friend’s sister’s best friend – small world!). Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to have a manicure or pedicure because of the infection risk and because both include a little massage, which I also can’t have. But hey ho…

Speaking of nails, I thought I was being original when I painted my nails alternate orange and blue a month ago after the doctor told me to keep them painted to prevent them from going black from the chemo. But I was rummaging through some old photos the other day and it turns out I am two decades behind myself – I had exactly the same nails in 1996 when I was 14!

(You will see from this photo that, not only was i a natural-born trendsetter, i also had a keen interest in boys from a young age. Unfortunately, I am yet to find a suitable one…)

So, nothing else to do but cross my fingers for chemo tomorrow. It has been bucketing it down with rain for two days solid, so I’m rather looking forward to spending a week in bed.

It’s all happening in London, indeed.

So I go down to the capital to stay with my friend Danie for my final pre-chemo weekend before Round Three. It’s the usual drill – down on the first-class train with my hand gel and medical necessities in tow. This time I decide to wear Valerie from the moment I leave the house, mainly because if I put her in my bag, she’ll get all tangled, and I know it’ll be cold on the train so I need something to keep my head warm.

I get to London and everything is going well but by the time I get back to Danie’s house at 6pm after a few hours in London, I’ve been wearing the wig for a full 7 hours – the longest time yet. I have a considerable headache from the tightness of the wig by this time, so i whip Valerie off the moment we enter Danie’s place and i don my bold beanie for comfort. So, when we head out for a bite to eat and a film a couple of hours later, I think ‘what the hell’ and decide to go wigless for the night. After all, it’s a casual Saturday evening at the cinema with a friend and I’m not out to impress anyone.

Danie and I walk the ten minutes to the main street in Putney – one of the nicer boroughs of London, for those of you unfamiliar with the area. It’s getting a bit nippy and rather autumnal (fall) and we’re both dressed accordingly. (When I say we are dressed accordingly, I mean by global standards, as opposed to Northern England or Irish standards, which would often favour the wearing of a mini dress and no outer garment in temperatures of 8 degrees Celsius (46 Fahrenheit)).

Let me just explain, since it is central to the tale, that Danie is one of my many beautiful, ginger-haired friends.

As we walk down Putney’s main high street, we pass a couple of very inebriated men who are drunkenly ambling along the street. So far, so normal for a Saturday night.

So, imagine our surprise when we pass them and hear one of them shout:

“Well, if it isn’t Chemo and Rouge!”

Chemo and Rouge!!!


It takes us more than a few moments to register what we’ve just heard. Initially, I think “chemo and rouge” is a description of myself, since my coral-coloured beanie could be described as rouge (if one were slightly colour-blind). But within moments it dawns on me that “Chemo” is me and “Rouge” is my flame-haired companion.


Danie spends the rest of the evening thinking up things she wishes she had retorted, while I think of ways i would have karate-chopped them to the ground, had we both not been quite so stunned into immediate inability to react.

After the chemo and rouge incident, we walk into Wagamama and order some food. Our extremely lively young waiter is of bright ginger-haired descent and clearly more than proud of his, ahem, roots, as when I order a ginger beer (no alcohol) he beams at me and says “Ginger beer, the best sort of beer.”

We then head to the cinema across the road and bump into my friend Hannah from Bloomberg, who assures me she is an avid reader of the blog, so here’s a quick shout-out! Rouge and I watch Hope Springs, a great film, which adds up to two great films on two consecutive Saturdays – the other being Anna Karenina, since you asked.

We then walk home to Rouge’s house, discussing earlier incidents as we go. Rouge comments that Putney is usually “such a nice neighbourhood” and tells me she has never been heckled here before. Moments later, from the other side of the road, three young ruffians spot us and the bravest of the bunch shouts a series of things over to us, as we ignore them entirely, in that polite manner that is so customary to us Brits.

“Oi!” (not in the Brazilian sense)

“Looking lovely tonight, ladies!”

“Aren’t you going to say hello?”

“You look very nice,” etc etc.

Just a couple of moments later, a passing car beeps its horn at us. Well, indeed. May I just point you back to the beginning of this tale, where I noted that the temperature has taken a turn for the chillier and both of us are dressed accordingly. By this, I mean that there is not a single bit of flesh showing on either of our bodies, save for our hands and faces, and we are both wearing jeans, Converse and leather jackets (without looking like we’re from a boy band, if you know what I mean.)

Who knew evenings in Putney could be so entertaining?!

The rest of the weekend is pretty tame in comparison. Saturday lunch time, before the aforementioned incident, Rouge and I go for late brunch (more commonly known as lunch) at a trendy new place called Caravan behind King’s Cross station with Rouge’s sister, George (who is brunette, for the record). The restaurant is in an old grain store and has a very cool, New Yorky feel.

I can never resist a brunch menu, particularly since brunch doesn’t seem to exist back in Huddersfield, but everything on the menu at Caravan is unusual, to say the least. It’s one of those trendy gastro-cool menus with all manner of items that require translation to the ordinary British eye (‘satsouki sausage,’ ‘girolles,’ ‘sumac,’ etc) and unfortunately they’ve gone a bit over the top and the food doesn’t taste as good as it sounds. Nor does the service match up, and it’s a good job we’re in for a relaxed, long lunch as we end up waiting 30 minutes for the bill and similar periods of time for service.

I order the deep-fried oyster, bacon and potato omelette for want of something more appealing. It’s an interesting dish and looks quite appetising, but I have to say the omelette I cooked earlier this month was far superior. (See Pricey’s Guide to Hair Loss). The butterscotch caramel pot with salted shortbread dessert is pretty good though.

Here is a pic of me and Rouge earlier in the day at Caravan. Note the purple-haired girl in the background, who tried to get in the picture. Candy Pink would have fit in well!


Chemo and Rouge

You’ve had a bit of an introduction to my wig collection and many of you helped in the selection process, but I don’t think any of you have seen the full line-up, so here we go:

Valerie (Val, for short) – so named because she came from my friend Valdimir. She’s the posh one from Selfridges and goes well with my hoop earrings for a night out. She’s probably the most similar to my natural hair, though she’s a bit more 50s and has a lot more body than my own hair ever had. She also gives me the Rachel-from-Friends haircut I always wanted, even if it’s 15 years too late. Val is a sensible, classy lady who can go casual for a day’s work or play, or get dressed up for a night on the town.

Tiffany – The cheapest of the bunch, but by no means cheap. She is smooth, sleek and stylish and a little smoky. Granted, this is mostly the eau de burnt plastic from her cheap, synthetic material, but Tiffany is no plastic faker. She likes to laugh wholeheartedly, eat spicy food and is proud of her Peckham roots. She also needs a hair cut, because I can’t actually see through this super-long fringe (that’s bangs, to the American readers out there).

Samantha – She’s a classic, but she’s no plain Jane. Samantha is the shortest and darkest of the bunch and she’s a simple, wash-and-go kind of gal. She’s the girl next door and likes simple, fun, down-to-earth people. Samantha enjoys cooking more than any of the girls, largely because she doesn’t pose quite so much of a fire risk. Probably the quietest of the bunch, Samantha is shy but she’s no shrinking violet. (Just FYI, the bit in italics is an actual line from one of my school reports when I was 15 – thanks, Mr Downs, my GCSE drama teacher).

Brandi – The first of the redheads, she’s subtle but strong, with fire and flavour. She loves strong coffee and rich, flavoursome foods. Brandi, like her name, is intoxicating and will woo you with her secret charms. Deep down, she’s a family gal and loves to hang out with friends. She also loves to curl up with a good book on a cold day – her current read being Fifty Shades Darker. That might give you a bit of a clue as to her darker side, though she’s not into BDSM, so don’t go getting any ideas! (I’m talking hair dye here, obvs).

Joana – She’s a full-bodied red with a fiery temperament. Foxy and fruity, there’s never a dull moment with Jo Jo. She loves to flay her hair around like in the Timotei adverts and she’ll easily catch your eye. Joana doesn’t like to be ignored, but she’s no attention seeker. Probably the cleverest of the bunch, she’s a straight ‘A’ student who speaks several languages and loves a good conversation, but she’s no stranger to a night on the tiles with her girlfriends either.

Miss Candy Pink – Candy is a party girl who likes to let her hair down. She loves to be the centre of attention and will always be noticed. She’s a sweet girl, though, and never a diva. She’ll flut her big lashes at you and expect a smile, but she has a deep and meaningful side if you dare to look past her blinding neon exterior. There’s a lot more to Candy P than meets the eye.

The Egghead – she is liberated and free, the happiest of the bunch. She likes to go running and listen to loud dance music. She is smooth and serene and likes to smile. In the winter, Egghead likes to accessorise with hats and occasionally team up with Brandi and friends, but she loves nothing better than to let her hair down at the end of the night and relax with a nice cup of tea. The Egghead is also a tough girl, a warrior. Those who mess with her will feel her wrath.

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