Tuesday, 25 November 2014

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

At the beginning of the month I talked to a lovely lady called Heather. Heather is a pleural mesothelioma survivor and you can read about her story and more over on her blog... Heather's Blog

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer which affects the lining of the lungs and is only caused by exposure to asbestos. Heather got in contact with me to ask if I would be willing to share some important facts surrounding pleural mesothelioma during lung cancer awareness month and tips on how to keep your lungs healthy.

What is Mesothelioma?
  • Mesothelioma is a rare cancer.
  • ONLY caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • 'Pleural Mesothelioma' is the most common type of mesothelioma.
  • It affects the lining of the lungs.

Mesothelioma Symptoms...
  • Early symptoms of mesothelioma are sometimes subtle and can be easily mistaken.
  • Symptoms are usually present 2-3 months prior to diagnosis.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Side chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Persistent cough.
  • Anaemia.

What Can You Do To Keep Your Lungs Healthy?
  • Avoiding air pollution.
  • Avoiding exposure to toxic substances.
  • Not smoking.
  • Avoiding exposure to radiation.

The purpose of National Healthy Lung Month is to increase awareness and promote healthy lungs. For more information, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at...

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

*Blood Cancer Awareness Month!

'September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. This month, it's your turn to make a difference.'

Today in the post I received this 'Blood Cancer Aware' awareness ribbon. Leukaemia Care have kindly sent this to me for September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

  •  Around 34,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer each year in the UK, but two thirds of the British Public aren't aware of the symptoms.

34,000 is a very large number of people who are diagnosed and a lot of those diagnosed are also unaware of the symptoms that a blood cancer might present. Leukaemia Care want to change this fact by raising as much awareness as possible about blood cancers this September.

Anybody of any age can be hit with a blood cancer diagnosis, which is why Leukaemia Care want to raise awareness amongst the public and medical professionals about the cluster of symptoms that can indicate a blood cancer. By making people more aware of the symptoms associated with blood cancer, it can help doctors to pick up on the disease quicker, enabling an earlier diagnosis.

The main types of blood cancers are Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma, however there are several other allied blood disorders. You can find out all the information you need on the three mentioned above and others by clicking on the Leukaemia Care link *here.*

'Leukaemia Care is a national blood cancer support charity dedicated to providing patients and their families with the right information, advice and support during their cancer journey. They provide support through a range of services including a 24 hour help line, patient information booklets, patient and carer conferences, nationwide support groups, cancer campaigning and individual advocacy work.'


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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

NHS Hospital - Royal Sussex County Hospital

In the press recently there have been a lot of 'horror stories' and 'shocking' images of hospital food provided by the NHS. It isn't the first time either that I've read damning stories about the NHS, if it's not the nurses the press are getting at, it's something else... one thing I think that everyone should remember, however, is not to tar all NHS hospitals with the same brush.

I was admitted into the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton in June of last year (2013) onto the Haematology Ward and my first stay was for roughly 3 weeks, which meant hospital food every.single.day... and I honestly couldn't complain. The food I had was all completely edible. (Contrary to what the papers have been reporting lately.) There were two really lovely ladies, who would alternate with one another on different mornings, as to who would come round taking note of what each person wanted for their food that day. (Sometimes it would be a different person, but generally it was one of the two ladies.) Every morning one of them would appear, smile on face, with a choice of different meals I could have that day for lunch and supper and they'd also ask me what I would like for breakfast. (Toast, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, hot drink, cold drink... pretty much anything.) For lunch and supper, there was generally a choice of two/ three different hot options, but there was also the option of sandwiches/  fruit & yoghurt.

All the kitchen staff went about their day with a smile on their face and would always make an effort with me, starting up conversation or just making sure my food was okay whenever they popped in.

You can't fault the staff either. From the kitchen, to the nurses and doctors, they are all such wonderful individuals and it felt like they were always going out of their way to make sure I was okay. It must be really hard at times, (if not every day), working on the Haematology ward, where you're faced with patients who have received a life changing diagnosis, such as cancer. Personally, I couldn't do it. I wouldn't be able to hold it together, when a patient is falling apart. But every day the nurses would turn up smiling and laughing and go about their shift. Being an inpatient for as long as I was, you get to know the nurses and the rest of the hospital staff really well and I can honestly say they are an incredible bunch of selfless and caring individuals. If I was having a down day, they'd know and they'd try their best to cheer me up or talk me round, reassuring me that it wouldn't be like this all the time. They'd always go out of their way and make an effort, one of the nurses even tried to get me to do some origami, as I spent the majority of my days in hospital sleeping and not doing much else... but I'm pretty sure I just went back to sleep anyway, haha. 

I was incredibly lucky to have such lovely people looking after me, who still continue to every 3 months or so for my check-ups. 

Not all wards are as grim as they're made out to be, not all the staff are as heartless as they're made out to be and not all the food is as bad as it's made out to be either... so don't believe everything that the papers print.

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Hair Growth Update - August

The end of next month will mark a whole year since I took the last of my hair off, after it started to fall out. For now, my hair isn't that different from my last hair post, I think it is slowly straightening out as it gets longer, but it is going to take a while and I don't think it will naturally be as straight as it was pre-cancer, without the help of a straightening iron.

It has reached a length now where I can get the top half into a little ponytail, which keeps it off my face, or the bottom half into a ponytail, but it doesn't all go into one ponytail... yet!

I'm still using Lee Stafford's 'Hair Growth' shampoo, treatment pot and conditioner which is the 'For Hair that never Grows past a certain length' range. 
Next September hair update (next month) will be my last hair update, as it will have been a year since the last of my hair was taken off. ♥

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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Urban Decay - Naked 2 Palette

The Urban Decay Naked Palettes, are definitely the most popular palettes between celebrity makeup artists, beauty bloggers and any makeup lover. I recently purchased my first Naked palette... Naked 2. Out of the three palettes, I thought this was the one I would use every single colour in as it has less pink/ purple tones and more brown/ earthy tones compared to the Naked 1 and Naked 3.

All of the shadows in this palette are usable, every day colours. The pigmentation of the shadow in the palette, is exactly what it will look like on the skin. It keeps the concentration and strength of colour when transferring from the palette to the eye... but then coming from the Urban Decay brand, you wouldn't expect anything less!

Below I've done swatches of each shade on my arm. There is a strong variety of shades ranging from light to dark, enabling you to create a more neutral toned down look with a mixture of the matte shades, or a dark dramatic smokey eye, combining the matte shades with the shimmery shades. It is a very versatile palette!

The palette includes 3 matte colour, (Foxy, Tease and Blackout) and 9 shimmery/ sparkly colours, (Half Baked, Booty Call, Chopper, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, YDK and Busted.)

  • Foxy - Creamy/ yellow, with a matte finish.
  • Half Baked - Golden/ bronze, with a shimmer finish.
  • Booty Call - Creamy/ pinky, with a shimmer finish.
  • Chopper - Coppery/ bronze, with a hint of glitter and a shimmer finish.
  • Tease - Earthy/ brown, with a matte finish.
  • Snakebite - Bronze/ dark brown, with a shimmer finish.
  • Suspect - Light golden, with a shimmer finish.
  • Pistol - Grey, with a shimmer finish.
  • Verve - Pearly/ cream, with a shimmer finish.
  • YDK - Light metallic bronze, with a shimmer finish.
  • Busted - Dark brown, with a shimmer finish.
  • Blackout - Blackest black, with a matte finish.

Comparing the colours in this palette to those in the Naked 1 and Naked 3, I definitely think it's the most usable and 'go to' palette out of them all. Purely because the other two palettes are dominated by more purpley/ pinky undertones, compared to the Naked 2 palette which is made up of more earthy and neutral shades, it is a much warmer palette, with a great 'basics' selection. ♥

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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hair Growth Update - July

The end of July means that it is time for my monthly hair update! I took the last remaining bits of my hair off at the end of September... as it's now the end of July, I've had 10 full months of my hair growing back. I've religiously used Lee Stafford's hair growth range, which involves a shampoo, a treatment pot (which you use straight after the shampoo) and then the conditioner.

The pictures above show how my hair has changed within just a month. It's slow and steady progress and it's obviously not going to reach waist length overnight, but I think it's doing pretty well!
It is getting a tiny bit straighter with the length pulling down the curls, but other than that, there's not much else to say apart from that it's still growing, haha. I do run my straighteners through my hair on occasion and it does look longer compared to when it's left natural and wavy, as you can see from the pictures above.

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

*Metique - Tea Tree Oil Hygienic Skin Wash

* METIQUE Tea Tree Oil Hygienic Skin Wash
This product was sent to me to review after a lovely lady got in contact with me via Twitter. It's a Tea Tree Oil Hygienic Skin Wash from the brand Metique, which was originally produced and launched in Australia in 2001 by Steen Jorsal, then in 2008, husband and wife Jeremy and Jenny along with their team and the support of founder, Steen Jorsal, launched the Metique Tea Tree Oil range in the UK.

What I really like about this product is that it's gentle on the skin. There are no sulphates in the ingredients, which are known to irritate skin, (and can be found in many beauty products) and the tea tree oil that Metique use relieves and soothes irritated/ inflamed or infected skin.
I don't have acne, however I do suffer from breakouts on my skin, especially my t-zone area. The first time I used this skin wash on my face, my chin was extremely sore and inflamed due to a recent breakout, however I did notice a slight improvement after the first couple of uses. The spots on my chin didn't look as inflamed and sore and after only a couple of uses, my t-zone started to look clearer.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, which is why I think I noticed a difference so quickly. I have quite oily skin in my t-zone, but for those who have dry skin, it does state on the bottle that it is a 'Non Foaming and Non Drying' formula, so it's not going to dry your skin out even more when you use it.

Overall I was very impressed with this product, it's full of natural ingredients which are beneficial to your skin and I saw a difference in my skin as soon as I started using it. It won't damage your skin as it's sulphate and paraben free and you only need a couple of pumps from the bottle to wash your whole face effectively. The formula itself doesn't lather up, which means you don't lose any of the product to foaming and you can really massage it thoroughly into you skin and then rinse off.

One thing I would say about this product is that the smell is quite overpowering, because it is a tea tree oil product and the tea tree has quite a distinctive smell. (Unfortunately for me this takes me back to when I was around 6/7 years old, sitting in an empty, cold bath next to my brothers, our hair lathered up with a tea tree nit treatment, waiting for it to take effect.) But once I got past the smell, (and the memories of having my hair treated in an empty, cold bath for head lice) the product itself is really effective at treating inflamed and sore skin prone to breakouts.

If you'd like to look at any of the other products in the Metique range, or find out more about the natural ingredients that go into the products, you can do so by visiting the UK site *here!*

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - Before & After

One beauty product that has been doing the rounds on social media and with beauty bloggers for ages is Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. This is a creamy formula for your brows and is sold in 8 different shades. Every single review I have ever read on this product has only ever been positive, it's waterproof, doesn't smudge and glides on so smoothly and it is definitely so much easier than using pencils or powder... and I wasn't disappointed.

At £15 the little pot may seem quite pricey, however, it will last you for ages. I've had mine for 2 months now and have barely made a dent in it. The tiniest bit of this creamy formula goes a really long way and a quick brush through of your brows with an eyelash comb or a spoolie, will even out the product and make sure it's properly dispersed through the brows. Due to it's creamy consistency, you can use it to define the brows with a sharp line, or use a smaller amount to gently fill them in with a lighter touch of the brush.

You can choose to use a powder on top, if you want a bit more coverage, but if you don't want to it doesn't matter as this product does it all!

Above, is my before and after. At the moment, in their natural state, my brows are thicker at the front, but then they thin out at the sides, using the dipbrow pomade means that I can create a defined end to my brows, in turn giving a more defined and prominent arch, which is shown in the photos.

Anastasia Beverly Hills in an American company, however there are a couple of sites in the UK that you can purchase their products from. I purchased mine from Cult Beauty UK and the colour I bought was 'Dark Brown.'

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Makeup - Neon

At the end of last month, I went up to London to IMATS, the International Makeup Artist Trade Show. There were so many different brands there and there were talks spread out over the two days from leading industry artists, as well as live demos throughout the day on the majority of the stands.

I purchased a lot of makeup brushes and eyelashes. But I did pick up some loose neon powders from the Stargazer stand. The other night I finally got around to using them and this was the outcome. I chose to put them over a black base, because it really makes the colours pop! These pigments are also UV reactive, but I don't own a UV light, so I couldn't test that out. However, used on their own, without the aid of UV light they are still super effective and really bright. This has to be one of my favourite looks I've done, as it's really simple, but the outcome looks really effective!

A list of all the products used is down below...

Products Used:
  • Sleek Inkpot in 'Dominatrix' to tightline my eyes.
  • Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ in Black.
  • Stargazer Neon Eye Dust in Green. (201)
  • Stargazer Neon Eye Dust in Yellow. (202)
  • Stargazer Neon Eye Dust in Pink. (205)

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Friday, 4 July 2014

Makeup - July 4th

Today is July 4th and in the United States, today celebrates the anniversary of the publication of deceleration of independence from Great Britain, also known as Independence Day. It is a patriotic holiday and is celebrated all over America, so I chose to do a stars and stripes theme for this makeup look, a list of products used to create this look can be found below. If you want to find out more about Independence Day, you can do so *here!*

Products Used:
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC15
  • Anastasia Beverley Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Dark Brown
  • Sleek Ink Pot in Dominatrix for liner.
  • Eldora Lashes
  • Kryolan Supracolor 'B' Palette. Colours - Blue (091) Red (079) and White (070)
  • Blue Gems from Hobby Craft


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Monday, 30 June 2014

Hair Growth Update - June

Hair update! Finally my mop of hair is starting to straighten out a tiny bit, granted it's not that much, but it is getting a bit straighter on top where the length is starting to weigh it down, the ends do still kick up into little curls, but, as you can see from the pictures it is getting a tiny bit straighter!

The pictures above I've washed my hair the night before, so it's dried naturally and just does what it wants to. Obviously, when I get straighteners through my hair, it does go much flatter, which I will do a post on during July to show the full length it has reached to date.

Other than my hair getting that tiny bit straighter, (and there being that little bit more on my head) there is not much to add from my last update. I'm still willing it to grow down to my waist overnight... but that's not likely to happen... at all. I'm still using the pink hair growth shampoo, treatment pot and conditioner from Lee Stafford's hair products range, which you can pick up either online or in Boots stores! ♥

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Makeup - Giraffe Inspired

I bought myself some massive lashes a while ago and have been trying to come up with something creative to include them in. The other night, I got thinking about giraffes... and then I thought, why not do a giraffe inspired makeup.. they have really beautiful, long eyelashes and they also have really nice patterns over their body. So this is what I came up with....

I started off by using the browns in the Kryolan Derma Color Camouflage Palette to give myself a darker base colour on my face and blended the colour down my neck. I then moved onto the eyes, tight lining with a black kohl eyeliner pencil, apply black eyeshadow for a smokey eye, then applied mascara and false lashes.
I then started to add the pattern of the giraffe to my face and neck, using the browns in the Kryolan Supracolor Palette, once I'd finished that, I then went back in with Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation to highlight around some of the brown shapes I had created, to bring forward and emphasise the pattern.

Products used:
  • Black Kohl Eyeliner
  • Black Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Kryolan Derma Color Camouflage Creme 'A' Palette. Colours - Brown (D11) and Light Brown (D6)
  • Kryolan Supracolor  'B' Palette. Colours - Brown (046) and Darker Brown (101)
  • DUO Eyelash Glue
  • Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 01
  • Stargazer Feathered False Eyelashes in 54

All of my makeup looks, once I've completed them I pop up on my Instagram, before I get round to writing up a products used list on here. So if you'd like to you can visit and follow my instagram account by clicking on this link... My Instagram! Or alternatively, you can search 'emilyevaalice' into Instagram.

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Guest Post - Erin's Eyebrows

Recently I have been talking to a lovely girl called Erin who lost her eyebrows. Whilst they grow back Erin has been trying and testing out different techniques to recreate natural looking eyebrows and I thought this might be something that would interest a lot of people. Although I didn't lose my eyebrows during treatment, I know that there are people who do and there are other treatments and skin conditions that can cause loss of eyebrows, so I asked Erin if she would like to write something for my blog, including pictures and here's what she has written...

"The saying, 'you don't realise what you've got until it's gone' is so true. You really don't realise how important eyebrows are to the overall look of your face until you don't have any. They frame your eyes and without them people do look rather strange. So I know from experience that losing your eyebrows is very stressful. In my opinion, just as stressful as losing your hair.

When I began losing my eyebrows I would fill in the gaps with a brow powder. Then as there was gradually more to fill in I would use a pencil too. When I lost them completely I experimented with ways to see how I could make them look most natural. Pencils can give too harsh a line so they look too solid unless you do light strokes to look like hairs. Powder is great when you only lose parts of your eyebrows, or if they are just thin, however if you have no brows at all there is nothing for it to stick to. I experimented with putting on wax first, then powder, but it became patchy throughout the day and looked silly. I settled on a combination - pencil first, then powder over the top. I found this worked best for me and looked the most natural, however everyone is different and it's kind of a process of elimination until you find something that works for you.

The pencil, followed by the powder was a great technique for me, until it came to exercising or swimming. My eyebrows didn't stay looking good if I was sweating and obviously they didn't stay on in water. That's when I did some research online and found my saviour! Beauti-Full Brows! These are temporary tattoos that apply quickly with water. They are so easy to apply and I wear mine for three days before they start to need replacing. They don't smear and are waterproof so you can swim and shower without worrying. They come in loads of different shapes, colours and styles so you can choose the ones that best suit your face. You get a sheet of 8 pairs when you purchase them. I have the 'Dark Aaliyah' ones from the Brunette Brows section (pictured above) which cost $4.79 (about £2.82) If you have lost your eyebrows, they are thinning or you just want the illusion of thicker brows, check out their website... Beauti-Full-Brows!"

As Erin said in her post, eyebrows do frame the face and it must have been awful losing them. The picture of Erin, (above left) shows that the Beauti-Full Brows look really natural and to be honest nobody would ever know that they weren't real!

Lots of love to Erin and a big thank you for writing this post all about eyebrows!

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Makeup - Zombie

I wanted to try out a zombie look on myself and also wanted an excuse to whack out my special effects kit. Liquid latex looks really effective when teamed with layers of cotton pad fluff and more layers of latex, to create the look of broken/ holey/ infected skin. Combine this with a bit of food gelatine that looks like pus for a more gory effect and I think my finalised zombie look turned out well.

To create the grazes, I used scab dark and an eyelash/ eyebrow wand.

It's a simple look, but there were quite a few products that went into creating it...

Products used:
  • Black Kohl eyeliner.
  • Mascara.
  • Kroylan Supracolor 'B' Palette. Colours - White (070) and Purple (082.)
  • Skin Illustrator 'On Set FX' Palette. Colours - Bruise Tone, Blood Tone and Aged Blood.
  • Ben Nye Liquid Latex.
  • Cotton Pads.
  • Scab Dark.
  • Gelatine.

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Monday, 9 June 2014

Guest Post - Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL): From Diagnosis to Treatment

We are the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. We work to improve the lives of patients with blood cancers such as Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL). Our research aims to stop people dying from blood cancer and even prevent people developing blood cancer in the first place. For over 50 years now we have been working to beat blood cancer and we won’t stop until we do. We’re honoured to have heard Emily’s story and see the people that she has inspired through sharing her experiences in dealing with APL.

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia or APL is the M3 subtype of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). Although the symptoms of APL are similar to the symptoms of AML the treatment is usually very different. Many of the symptoms of APL are a result of cancer cells interfering with bone marrow and the production of healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

APL can develop at any age and usually develops very quickly, with symptoms appearing in a matter of days or weeks - Emily was diagnosed at age 20 after she developed symptoms that could be confused with tonsillitis.

The most common symptoms of APL include:

• Unusual bleeding and bruising – bleeding is a serious symptom of APL and needs immediate attention

• Paleness

• Tiredness and breathlessness

• Frequent infections and difficulty in fighting them off

Other less common symptoms for APL:

• Bone pain

• Swollen glands

• Abnormal pain

• Occasionally some patients may develop chloromas, which are small lumps under the skin caused by leukaemia cells clustering


The treatment for APL is begun as soon as possible after diagnosis to combat the excessive bleeding (caused by the lack of platelets which clot blood) that is so common amongst patients with APL.


The main treatment for APL is Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will consist of a combination of anti-cancer drugs, these drugs are administered in a precise order depending on the patient’s age, general health and the severity of their condition.

Stem Cell Transplant

Patients who are generally in good health are considered for stem cell transplant. Stem cell transplant is a very strenuous form of treatment that is only recommended for patients who have relapsed or have an aggressive form of APL. Older or weaker patients may be offered a less invasive form of the treatment.

Supportive Care

As infections and treatment complications are quite common amongst patients with APL, supportive care is a key factor in a patient’s recovery. Supportive care for patients with APL most commonly includes treatments for anaemia caused by lack of red blood cells and treatments for Thrombocytopenia which results in excessive bleeding.

The likelihood of being cured is very much dependant on factors such as the subtype of APL, how far the disease has progressed before diagnosis and treatment, age and general fitness.

Although younger patients with good fitness levels are likely to respond better to treatment, the prognosis for patients with APL is one of the best within the AML diagnosis. Following the correct treatment over 70% of patients with APL were cured.

In the spirit of National Cancers Survivors Day, which was on the 1st research has helped in adding more success and inspirational stories such as Emily’s. Charities like us will continue to invest in research to beat blood cancer. If you are struggling to deal with blood cancer, visit our website for patient support resources to help you get through Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia and other blood cancers.

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

National Cancer Survivors Day - June 1st


Today is National Cancer Survivors Day. A day to celebrate life. This time last year I hadn't even been diagnosed yet... little did I know that a couple of weeks later I'd be sitting in a hospital bed being told I had leukaemia. When I look back to when I was diagnosed, being admitted into hospital, all the tablets, the chemo, the sleepless nights... all of it.. it seems like one big whirlwind. However I understand that it all could have ended so differently for me, had I not been sent to A&E after my third visit to the doctor. Which makes today (and every other day) something that I'm extremely thankful for. There were (and still are) a wonderful bunch of people who looked after me during my diagnosis and treatment, who continue to look after me now that I'm in remission and being monitored for the next couple of years.

However it's not just a day to celebrate those who have survived. It's a day to remember those who we've lost to cancer, those who fought so hard to stay with us and those who are still fighting against cancer.

If you'd like to know more about National Cancer Survivors Day, how it came about, events and latest news. You can pop over to their website *here!*

On a separate note, last week (Wednesday 28th May) I went up to London to help promote Race for Life, which helps raise money for Cancer Research UK. There were 50 of us altogether and we all donned a fluffy pink gorilla costume each! We then went round London having group photos taken in different locations and doing the 'Cancer Slam' dance routine. The whole purpose of the day was to raise awareness of the events going on, like Race for Life, that help to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Money which is vital into researching cancer further, improving on current treatments and developing new ones. It was a really fun day and the outcome was many funny photos, a lot of pink fluff and a video which you can view by clicking on this link... *Race for Life - Pink Gorillas in London!*

If you'd like to sign up for a Race for Life event near you (or a different event, as there are many!) You can do so by popping over to the website *here!* You can also read my original Race for Life event post, which my sister and I will be taking part in next Sunday *here!* 

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Friday, 30 May 2014

How My Friends Reacted To My Cancer Diagnosis..


This statement is incredibly true. It's during the tough times that your true friends will be revealed and you will fully understand what it means to have those friends there for you.

As I mentioned in my previous post 'How I Told My Friends I Had Cancer' I pretty much dropped my leukaemia diagnosis into conversation like it was no big deal. I didn't really know what to expect from my friends. I was a bit of a mess over the whole situation so I genuinely had no idea how they'd react, or what they'd say.. if anything. The majority of my friends were so lovely about the whole situation, yes it upset them, but they all wanted me to know how much they loved me and really.. if I was going to be okay. I had lots of cards and little presents arrive with 'get well soon' wishes and lovely messages from my friends and family friends. It always brightened up my day when I had an animal themed card delivered to my room! Haha!

But, all the caring and genuine messages come with bad and the maybe not so genuine... I received messages from old friends who I hadn't heard from in a while, which was lovely of them to get in touch. However there were people who I classed as my 'close friends' who I heard nothing from. There was no message, no phone call, no anything and they still haven't spoken to me much since my diagnosis, or since being told I was in remission.. it's weird how people you classed as your best friends, people who you thought would be there for you suddenly vanish. I know that suddenly finding out that someone you care about has cancer is tough, it's hard to deal with and some people can't deal with it and push you away instead, so maybe that was it. But it was a hard realisation that people who I thought would always be there, suddenly weren't. As well as this sudden realisation, I also received messages from people who hadn't made my life easy in the past. People who had been really horrid to me and had ultimately caused me to move schools.. saying that they couldn't believe what had happened, (news which they'd heard through mutual friends) and they were now 'thinking about me.' Now don't get me wrong, maybe their intentions were genuine when they chose to get in contact and maybe they genuinely couldn't remember how rubbish and hell like they'd made my life in the past. But these messages I chose not to respond to. I wasn't going to let myself get drawn in by them.

I will never understand why when someone becomes seriously ill, those who hurt them before will suddenly pop up, acting like nothing ever happened. They never hurt you. They were never mean to you. They act like everything is just peachy. It's a behaviour that baffles me now and probably always will.

Having cancer has taught me a lot. It's taught me who I can and can't trust. Who will always be there when I need them... and those who are only there when it benefits them. It's a hard lesson to learn when you're extremely ill, however I'm glad I now know who the genuine people are in my life.


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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Hair Growth Update - May

Every month I do one of these posts, and each time I take the photos I think that my hair hasn't grown at all... then I compare with the photos from the month before and do a little happy dance.. because it is growing! There isn't really much to say growth wise, because it's growing.. which means it's getting longer haha. But it is still super curly as you can see from the photos, with a thicker texture, really... it's just a mass of hair! I'm still hoping that as it does get more length on it, it will start to straighten out a bit and not as tightly curled and out of control! But I'll just have to wait and see!

My hair care routine is still the same as it has been since my hair started growing back October time last year. I am using the Lee Stafford 'Hair Growth' range, which has a shampoo, treatment pot (that you use after the shampoo) and a conditioner. There is also a leave in spray bottle in the hair growth range, which you can spritz onto your hair after you step out the shower, however I have only used this little bottle a couple of times since October. I normally just use the other three products I mentioned first.

Overall, I am still really happy with how quickly my hair seems to be growing! I just can't wait for it to be back to its pre-cancer length!

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

How I Told My Friends I Had Cancer...

Taken 6 days before I was diagnosed.
I was thinking back the other day, about when and how I told my friends that I had cancer.. in hindsight I probably could have handled it better and probably should have told them straight away. But I didn't. Telling my friends that I had been diagnosed with cancer, I knew, wasn't going to be easy. I'm not one of those people who likes to tell others every single last detail of their personal life, or 'you'll never guess what happened to me today.. well I'm going to tell you!' kind of person... I see a lot of people, especially on facebook, documenting every single little thing that has happened to them either with a 'selfie' or a picture of the incident taken literally as soon as it has happened... be it a nosebleed, a paper cut or falling down the stairs.
So when it came to me telling my friends, I literally just dropped it into conversation like it was completely normal and something that happened on a daily basis. I was diagnosed on the 20th June 2013 and the majority of my friends didn't find out until the 1st July 2013... so a good 12 days later. I put up a status on my facebook profile, thanking the handful of friends who already knew about my leukaemia diagnosis for their love and support. The exact message was..

 'Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the love and support since I came into hospital with Leukemia. I really appreciate the messages and I shall get back to you as soon as I can, so thank you.  xxx'

Now, I know putting it up on Facebook a lot of people won't agree with. Something as serious as cancer should probably be told in person or over the phone, not something to be stumbled upon as your friends are scrolling through their newsfeed. However, I didn't want to call anyone. I didn't want to say that I was in hospital. I didn't want to see anyone. I just didn't want to have to verbally communicate with any of my friends. I knew that if I called one person, I'd have to call them all... and in doing that each call would end up progressively worse than the last and I would have ended up either a hysterical mess at the end of the conversation, or a complete mess as soon as they picked up the phone, unable to get any words out.

Prior to breaking my cancer diagnosis to my friends, I'd been texting them whilst I was in hospital acting like everything was wonderful... conversations of, 'How are you?' and 'How has your day been?' My response was, 'I'm great thanks! How are you lovely?!' and 'Yeah, it's been pretty boring actually! Ha! You had a good day?' ...for me this was so much easier to do than actually a) acknowledge the situation I was in, or b) send back an essay of a message, all about my day of lying in bed, being checked over by doctors and nurses and continuously having blood and platelets and drugs pumped into me. I didn't want to bother anyone. I didn't want to burden them with how my life had suddenly been turned upside down. I didn't want them to have to feel how I was feeling... so for me, it was easier to act like nothing was going on and I was lounging about at home like I'd normally be doing during the summer, watching Jeremy Kyle and Honey Boo Boo! Ha! A handful of my close friends did find out several days after I was diagnosed as my Mum had sent them a message, although she had asked them not to say anything until I was ready, as I was reluctant for her to tell anybody in the first place.

Once more and more people started to find out, there were messages, cards, presents and 'get well' wishes... one thing about being critically ill, is that a lot of people start to pop up who you haven't spoken to in years... people who you know weren't bothered about you before.. people who had treated you really badly.. so why were they bothered now?! But I'll post about that at a later date..

I don't know if there is a right or wrong way to go about telling your friends when you're critically or seriously ill. For me, this was the only way I could deal with telling people. If it happens to me all over again, honestly, I think I'll end up doing exactly the same thing and won't tell anybody until I feel like I'm ready to tell them, or I feel that they should know what is going on. I'm good at putting on a smile and acting like everything is okay. I don't want to put my friends in a situation where I know that they'll feel upset or scared for me. All those emotions that I went through when I was first diagnosed... the tears, the sleepless nights, the fears that I wouldn't see tomorrow... I didn't want them to feel the same way, which was why I held off telling them.

It's always going to be hard, no matter how you tell people.

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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Fixing Broken Makeup - Step by Step

I'm sure that everyone who owns makeup has ended up dropping their powder at some point... so it smashes into hundreds of itty bitty pieces. Your first thought? Bin it... I can't use it now. That is where you're wrong, because there is a way to fix that smashed powder...

Step 1 - You're going to need you're broken powder, rubbing alcohol, a spatula and some kitchen roll.

Step 2 - Take your broken powder and using the spatula, start to break it up. (If you're worried about getting it everywhere, you can tightly wrap your powder and case in cling film and break it up inside the cling film.)

Step 3 - You want to break your powder up until it's all been broken into teeny tiny pieces.

Step 4 - Start off by adding a couple of drops of the rubbing alcohol to the powder. (Remember it's easier to add the liquid than take it away. You want to do it bit by bit and try avoid flooding the compact with liquid.)

Step 5 - Mix the broken powder and the rubbing alcohol together. This will take a while and it will be quite clumpy at first, but keep adding the rubbing alcohol bit by bit and eventually it'll get easier to mix.

Step 6 - Once it's all mixed together into a paste (not too watery, you want to keep it reasonably thick.) Spread it out evenly into your compact and smooth out.

Step 7 - Pop a piece of kitchen roll onto your powder mixture, (I folded mine over twice to make a little square!) Then put a similar sized mug to that of the powder on top and leave it so the kitchen roll has time to soak up any excess rubbing alcohol.

Step 8 - Remove the kitchen roll and you'll see that it has soaked up most of the excess liquid. You can also clean up the edges of the compact if you haven't already!

Step 9 - Ta da! Leave your newly done powder out to dry and that's it!

As you can see, my powder at the end has a dotted pattern on... this was simply because the kitchen roll I used had a dotty pattern on it also, so it transferred. Which I actually really like as it adds a bit of decorative texture to my new powder! This method works for any powder... whether it be eye shadow, bronzer, or any other pressed powder... so no need to throw a smashed powder away ever again!

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