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Back To The Gym! 
I have just been away on a two day forum for younger women affected by breast cancer – yes, we are still in the minority. Of the 44,300 people diagnosed last year, less than 8,000 were under 45. The forum was organised by Breast Cancer Care and it was just amazing. I learnt more in those two days than I have in the past eight months. It was great to be in the company of people who understand what we are all experiencing and to hear stories, suggestions, ideas, advice that is first hand. It was also great to relax. Not just because I was out of my routine, but because if the ‘stunned rabbit’ effect should occur, I knew no-one would mind. I am not sure whether it is just due to the chemo (there are many reports about forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate after chemo), or due to the psychological impact of being diagnosed and treated for cancer, but often, during my day to day routines I feel overcome with this feeling of helplessness – like a stunned rabbit in the headlights. My mind goes blank; I feel very dazed and teary and can’t perform the simplest of tasks. Yes, Jane, Jill, Lisa, Andi, Jeff, Helen etc. I know there were many moments mid-class when I seemed to develop the ‘stunned rabbit’ effect before my diagnosis, but you know it was all a sham to see if you were concentrating….(The stunned rabbit effect can work very well with partners in conversations like “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to buy a mirror for the living room just yet?”……”Oh really, I can’t remember that conversation…..” The stunned rabbit effect can be infuriating to children, however, especially when confronted with questions like, “Mum, have you seen my school jumper?”……”School jumper?...what jumper?”…) Actually I just read that back and have decided that the word ‘jumper’ is a stupid word – where the hell does that come from hey? Jumper ….is it alive, is it active, why jumper? I will adopt a different word I think. Maybe sweater is good….

Anyway it was an excellent weekend and I came away with a lot more info that will help me take the next steps to ‘wellness’! On that note, I had a great chat to one of their guest speakers, an amazing GP, Dr Emma Pennery, who told me that the latest research shows that those women who exercise have a greater long term prognosis than those who don’t – and not just the recommended three times per week, but more like five or six. This was fantastic news for me because it means I can go back to the Body Attack plans later in the year, in addition to Pump, and not worry that my immune system will be compromised. However, this tiredness will continue for a few months before my energy levels begin to normalise, so I have to pace myself and take things one day at a time. I am so tired most of the time now that I feel dizzy and sick sometimes…and that’s before 9am. No, sadly I am not joking…..

Two weeks ago, I participated in the launch of BodyPump 66 at Banns and it was fantastic to be back. So fantastic that I have agreed to go back to my Monday night class AS OF TONIGHT!!!! Yippee!!!! Of course the good news is that no-one is going to be mean to me even in jest, (well there’s Jane the pain of course), all choreography mishaps will be put down to ‘chemo-brain’ or the ‘stunned rabbit effect’ and I don’t have to do the pushups if I don’t feel like it!!!!! What a great arrangement!

Hello to Hilary and Ned! How fantastic to hear from you – please send me an email so I can reply. Maree, we are all getting pretty excited about your arrival in Jan – must plan a big party and organise our gig at the Ritz. If Mr Bush is not eating, is he fading away in some dark corner somewhere, with nothing to do but listen to football scores? I think you should investigate Maree!
Better go as it must be time for sleep…..See you soon, and to all you Banns people I WILL SEE YOU MONDAY NIGHTS!!! Love from Deb


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We Walked The Ribbon! 
We did it! We did it! We finished the Ribbon Walk! We started at 9.30 on Saturday and crossed the finish line at about 5pm! It was a very long 20 miles with many hills that we hadn’t really counted on. There were 7 of us in our team; Kerry, Lisa, Vicky, Heather, Lorna and my cousin from Australia, Louise. Neither Lorna or Louise had completed any training walks so they did amazingly well. There were a few blisters and rashes but all in all, we did very well. The most uncomfortable part was the heaviness of the backpacks as we had packed some gourmet lunches and enough chocolate to cover ALL eventualities (like getting lost in the bush for 3 weeks). Lou had eaten most of the chocolate by mid-morning though, so we were considerably lighter!

It was very exhilarating to participate in such an event and Breast Cancer Care had organised the whole day exceptionally well (although there could have been a few more porta-loos at some points!). Between us we have raised over £4,000 which is amazing…..If you haven’t already sponsored me you can still do so at http://www.justgiving.com/deborahwinchester
So please support this cause as I can personally vouch for the amazing support Breast Cancer Care give those of us who have to deal with this disease.

We may even be featured in a UK magazine as we were interviewed and had lots of photos taken – I will keep you posted. I have been trying to keep a low profile (like Kylie) but it would seem the paparazzi just seem to find me…..Sometimes you can’t escape the media attention….

I am sorry the blog has been down – a few problems with technical support south of the border. Hopefully it has been sorted.

Back to reality today and off to Maidstone soon for my 4th week of radio. Next Monday it is my LAST day of treatment. I am still deciding how to celebrate. I will definitely be booking the Ritz soon. I have decided to join the Bannatynes’ BodyPump team for the launch of the new release next Monday night and am looking forward to that! SEE YOU THERE!!!!!

Well I better go and make a coffee to wake me up (it’s decaf of course, with Rice Milk, but the placebo effect works wonders now that I have such incredible powers of visualisation!).

I am personally proud of my weary body’s efforts in walking 20 miles at this stage in my treatment, but I am more proud of my lovely friends who walked with me, and for me. Words cannot express what it meant to have those special people with me on the day. And I know so many of you wanted to be there also. A million thankyous to all of you who have helped me in so many different ways. We had to write on a pink ribbon why we were doing the Ribbon Walk which were then displayed in a huge wall of ribbons. I wrote…….’so my daughters, and their generation, can live a life free of this horrible, devastating disease. Please find a cure’. No parent could want their children to have to go through this. Any chance you get to help Breast Cancer Care or Cancer Research UK, please offer your support – financial or otherwise.

Keep adding your comments. They are so funny to read. And I know that more than one of you has been desolate when you couldn’t get on the blog – poor Maree was missing you all so much, she kept texting me! Love to you all, Deb x


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