healthy, life

My breast cancer scare

I’ve gone back and forth on writing this, it’s a thing I want to share because it’s important but also it’s a period of time that I found very stressful and a bit scary, which is hard to write about.

Last year in the midst of wedding planning and a period of increased medical stress (thanks chronic illness) I found a lump in my left armpit, right next to my boob.

After worrying about it all weekend I rang the GP and after explaining to the arsey receptionist why I was calling for an on-the-day appointment, I got one immediately. Funny that.

My now husband was on annual leave so he drove me to the surgery, which was a big support as I was extremely anxious about the lump. My anxiety disorder can be triggered and added to when it comes to health issues so I was a bit of a walking disaster. Luckily I didn’t have to sit in the waiting room too long worrying and I saw a female GP (most surgeries will let you request a woman doctor, I didn’t specifically but it does made it a little more comfortable).

The exam required me to take off my top and bra, which I expected, and the doctor carried out a visual check and then a manual one. It wasn’t remotely embarrassing as she was very straightforward and put me at my ease. Once I was re-dressed we had a chat about her opinion and the next steps.

She said that she didn’t think it was a tumour but wanted it scanned at the breast clinic just in case. She explained that doctors are told to think the texture of a tumourous lump is the difference between the collagen of your nose (somewhat soft) and your skull (very hard) when pressed. Which is a useful tip for when checking your breasts. Although I highly recommend getting any and all strange lumps and other changes checked, just in case.

I was referred to the breast clinic at my local hospital to be seen by a specialist and have an ultrasound scan to see what was going on.

The clinic was on a Sunday, in a mostly deserted section of the hospital mainly used for various daily clinics, which was slightly creepy; walking through the empty corridors looking for the area reserved for this particular clinic.

There were a few women sat in the waiting area, all ages and races, because cancer doesn’t discriminate. The doctor carried out a similar exam as the GP and sent me off to the ultrasound department (I wish I’d downloaded a step counter just for this appointment as I walked the length of the hospital and back).

The nurse in the ultrasound room was really nice, explaining how to lie comfortably on the scanning bench with my arm tucked under my head. She draped a piece of blue tissue over my chest to preserve some modesty (although by this point several doctors had seen my breasts and I really wasn’t bothered). The doctor came in and carried out the scan then told me to wipe off the gel and get dressed. I walked back through the hospital to the breast clinic and get the results.

Thankfully it was all clear, the doctor thought the lump was more likely to be a swollen lymph node, which happens every now and then and goes away by itself. She told me I’d done the right thing in getting it checked out as it’s better to do and so and it be nothing, than leave it and find out too late that it’s something to worry about.

So ladies (and gents, and people who don’t identify as either) please check your breast tissue (and testicles if that’s relevant), go to your cervical screening or prostate exam. Look after your body, get to know it and recognise when things are wrong.

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food, healthy, life, recipes

Recipe: Potato & Egg curry

This is a great way to use up potatoes left over from a previous meal. Oh and eggs. To make it vegan, just skip the eggs. A quick tip – book the eggs and potatoes in the same pan if you’re using raw potatoes. 

1 or 2 hard boiled eggs per person 

A few potatoes boiled and chopped up 

Tin tomatoes or passata

Onion, chopped

Celery, 2 or 3 sticks, diced

Ginger – 1 tsp fresh or frozen

Garlic – 1 tsp fresh or frozen 

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp or a small fresh one chopped

Masala powder (optional) – 1tsp

Salt & pepper to taste

Method 

Boil the potatoes (10 minutes till al dente) and eggs (7/8 minutes till you’re happy they’re done). 

Brown your onion and toast the cumin seeds, add the ginger and garlic and leave to mingle for 5 minutes. Add your spices and season to taste. 

Pour in the tomatoes, mix and cook for 5 or 6 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them and the celery. Mix in well and simmer. 

When your eggs are done, run them under a cold tap, peel and slice. Add them to the pan for a minute and spoon some of the sauce over them. 

Serve. You can add raita or yoghurt to serve or your choice of Chutney etc. I don’t tend to serve it with rice because of the potatoes but it’s up to you. I do like a piece of naan to dip. 

This is based on a recipe from my lovely work wifey whose family come from Gujarat in India. You can use different vegetables to bulk it out and it tastes just as good reheated the next day minus the eggs. 

beauty boxes, clean eating, food, healthy, lifestyle, recipes, skincare

The Vegan Kind Mystery Box

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So a little box of treats winged its wayt to me from Glasgow.

I am trying to eat better and stay away from chemical heavy cosmetics and beauty products so I thought The Vegan Kind’s boxes would be worth a look.

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This is apparently a mystery box, presumably they are themed. This one contained several edible things and a body wash.

There was a pouch of pear puree which went into my herbalife shake along with a banana.

The red banana powder is something I already use and like, so this was a bonus as it’s not particularly cheap.

The gingerbread topper mix – designed for I think granola or muesli will either end up in a shake or on a fruit salad.

Quinoa crisps which I will try during the week with some quark dip.

Teabags – I like a herbal tea every now and then – so these will be drunk at some point.

Recipe card – what a lovely idea, including a recipe card so you can make something tasty – this one’s for a super green smoothie.

Finally the Organic Surge shower gel – started using this yesterday – smells amazing and really cleansing. And it’s a generous full-size bottle not a dinky sample.

I’ve also ordered their vegan beauty box to test out, will review once it’s delivered.

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ramblingmads

clean eating, food, healthy, lifestyle, recipes

Eating for health

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Recently I have been trying to improve my nutrition and eat better. In the last couple of years I’ve fallen into bad habits and need to sort my food choices out.

I enjoy cooking (and baking) but have been lazy when I know better and eaten junk food, takeaways and other rubbish.

The Greek salad above is one of the simplest ways to eat better. Feta cheese, tomatoes (I like different coloured cherry toms), red onion, cucumber, olives (if you like them), drizzled with olive oil and a scatter of ground black pepper. Done. Takes a few minutes, tastes great and all that veg is great for you.

And for dessert? How about this:

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Fat free yoghurt, fresh raspberries and sprinkled desiccated coconut. Tastes delicious, good for you too.

Now, neither of these things require much effort or actual cooking, so they’re perfect for a lazy person.

More recipes soon. (Problem is I never photograph my food, too busy eating it!)

ramblingmads