This event has finished and no longer accepts donations.
Thursday 16th November 2023
This is a very personal and emotional fundraiser, I hope you read to the end and listen to my story Xx
I’m not one for sharing much online or on social media, maybe the kids birthdays, highlights, milestones but not much else. So this has been difficult to write and post about. So why am I doing it, I hear you ask.
Well throughout this journey and health battle I find myself in and especially after loosing my Dad earlier this year I’ve come to realise a number of things…
• You can’t do everything alone! Well I suppose you can, but if you have people around who love you, you’d be a fool if you did! Sharing your fears, talking openly with those you love takes the power out of those fears. It gives them nowhere to hide, or bury inside you. I’m doing this because it leaves those fears behind me, and in sharing my story, becoming vulnerable and open …that gives me strength and power, it gives me back things I thought I’d lost/was losing.
• Accept help when it’s offered! There is no shame in realising you can’t do everything alone.
• If this post or piece of information helps just ONE person, whether to open up to a friend/family or more practically go to the doctors and get checked out, the small amount of reticence and hesitation in posting this news here for all to see will be 100% worth while.
• I want to show my children it is ok to be vulnerable, to talk openly and honestly about your struggles, to accept help when it is offered. It doesn’t make you weak …in fact accepting help when you need it only makes you stronger.
Right, finally here we go,,, No filters, no makeup, no holding or turning back now…
We’ve just had Breast cancer awareness month (Oct), Every year in the UK, around 56,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer. A lot of you will not be aware but I’m currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. It’s been a long road since booking a doctor’s appointment in March, tests, waiting for results, two operations and now I’ve just embarked on my first bout of chemotherapy (5 more to go) …I’m not going to lie, I can already tell the chemo is going to be the hardest hurdle in my journey by a long shot!
But there are some important things I wanted to impress upon you, especially the ladies (but not exclusively) about the signs of breast cancer, because my symptom was NOT common and is NEVER mentioned when breast cancer symptoms are talked about.
This is the list of breast cancer symptoms from the NHS website
• a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
• a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
• a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
• a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
• a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
• a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
• a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
My symptom was an appearance of blue prominent veins over one breast, something I was almost passing off as a menopausal/hormonal symptom as I had just turned 50 and read this was common. My beautiful Eva, my Angel spotted it when I was changing one morning …I shudder to think where I’d be now if she hadn’t, as I’d not noticed it myself 😇🙏
I had no lump or any of the symptoms listed above, but I still decided to make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out, something inside me, my intuition I suppose told me to act - trust your gut ladies and gents.
The doctor wasn’t sure either, but referred me for further tests and by the time I went for my mammogram at the end of April I could feel a small lump. Unfortunately, NHS waiting lists for appointments, surgeries and test results are huge and common now, 7 weeks from mammogram and biopsy to wait to find out you have cancer is not ideal but sadly that’s where we are, so if you have ANY doubt about ANYTHING go to your doctor as SOON as you can so you can get on this long treadmill of waiting lists.
I’m luckily, I feel lucky, it’s been caught early, and although I’ve had to have lumpectomy surgery (July) and a second lymph node clearance surgery (Sept), now on chemo and will be having radiotherapy after that, I know once it’s all done and dusted sometime hopefully next Spring I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief that I’ll be cancer free and know it could have been so much worse if I hadn’t have gone to the doctors when I did.
I’m so very blessed with such loving and supportive family and friends ❤️ I can’t express dearly enough how your kindness, strength and support have held me up in many dark times I have found myself over this year. To the constant love I’ve felt, messages, calls, voice notes, FaceTime’s, cards, healing, meditations, crystals, walks in the sunshine, shopping, beauty care packages, flowers, soup and cake deliveries and oh so much more …’THANK YOU’ will never sound quite good enough for what you have given and continue to give me ❤️
To my Andy, the unsung hero in all this, for being there, for loving me, holding my hand, driving me to endless appointments without complaint, taking over making tea and running the house while I can’t …thank you Xx
Daniel and Eva, my two beautiful children. I feel sad that you’re having to go through this, but your resilience and strength astounds me. I can already see the outstanding adults you’ll become and that fills me with hope and utter pride and joy.
Special thanks to my sister Jayne who is always there, the first I call, my rock, my sounding board, my soul sister. My sister Jacky and her beautiful friend Kate who right from the beginning have spent hours and hours every week providing healing, meditations, a constant connection and to whom I credit with saving my mental health. You have helped me grow spiritually and strong, unafraid of the unknown and future and to believe and trust in myself and my path. To my gorgeous friend Bryony, whose medical knowledge, advice and support has kept me from tipping over the edge on quite a few occasions.
Right now, I find myself in a place of calm, in a place of positivity and strength, managing to constantly look forward and that is down to you all …I love you so dearly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me Xx
Right, I hope you’re not all blubbing away like me writing this! But now for some good and super positive news and the main reason for this fundraiser! Hahahahaha Sorry took me a while to get here!
I’m loosing my hair, that’s a given, so I’ve took the bull by the horns and shaved my head this week, before it falls out. It’s one of the hardest things throughout this journey or my life, I’ve ever have to do, I love my bloody hair, it’s my identity, my shield …it’s me! 😭
Now it’s gone, looking in the mirror and to those around me it will be a constant reminder of the struggle and health battle I’m going through, I can’t hide from it now! And that reminder will last long after treatment finishes.
Daniel and Eva did a sterling job cutting my hair and we laughed throughout. I’m so very glad I made this into something positive for both them and me, it has made a huge difference.
In choosing to take control of my own destiny and hair it’s given me some inner strength and determination, something to be proud of ❤️ as I’ll be sending my luscious locks off to the ‘The Little Princess Trust’ donating my hair to this charity who make wigs for children who have cancer ❤️
In ‘braving the shave’ I’m also raising money for a local Sutton Coldfield women’s breast cancer support group that I’ve joined ‘Breast Friends ‘ and also ‘MacMillan Cancer’ who have helped me with some practical and financial advice - navigating support when you run your own business is not easy!
In all this shit storm, raising awareness of breast cancer, donating my hair and raising some money for charity are things that are making me feel warm and gooey inside and helping me turn this negative into a HUGE positive.
So ONLY if you are able (I know times are tough) and would like to support me and these charities please make a donation here and I thank you with all my heart ❤️😘 Xx
I’m happy for you to share my story with your friends, together let’s raise awareness of breast cancer, the little known symptom and raise some money for charity and more importantly I hope my story makes just one person feel less alone and able to reach out to a friend or family if they need Xx
With love Claire / Blake Xx
BTW There are no hidden platform fees when you make a donation via GiveWheel, or costs charged to the charity. GiveWheel give you an option to make an additional voluntary donation towards running costs but if you don’t want to you can set this to 0% by clicking on the 'set this amount to 0%' link text.
raised of £500 target
by 51 supporters
This event has finished and no longer accepts donations.