Sun, Sand & Septicaemia! (part one)

Well that was NOT part of the plan when my family and I decided to go on a dream family holiday to Mauritius!

My husband and I worked, saved and planned for months. We were so excited to finally be going and once there, it was as close to paradise as I could have hoped. We were all having the perfect time – until…

A few days in I started to feel unwell.  There was a medical centre on site and a nurse gave me some rehydration sachets.  I did keep saying that it felt more like a bladder infection but it was considered dehydration.  I know that with a colostomy dehydration is an extreme issue, so I was furious with myself that I had become dehydrated.  But the sachets didn’t help, in fact when I tried to drink one, I instantly threw it back up again – sexy!

Back to the medical center where it was agreed – it was a bladder and possibly now a kidney infection as well but not to worry, oral antibiotics and you should feel better in a day or two.  Sorted.

Not so.  By the next day I was convulsing, vomiting and had a temperature of 40c.  The medical team sent me straight to hospital.  I can’t lie, the journey to hospital was petrifying. It was an hour and a half away. I had to go by taxi on my own because it was too far for an ambulance to come and Husband had to stay with the kids. I had no idea what to expect when I got there – a posh private clinic, or like something off an episode of panorama.  The hospital was fine, basic, but fine and the staff were really wonderful.

Arriving at hospital I was delirious and writhing in pain. The doctors wouldn’t give me any medication until they ran tests, sorted my insurance and had my passport so the next hour was pretty awful and involved a lot of tears as I played the worlds smallest violin to myself.

Quick side note: I couldn’t be admitted until my insurance was sorted and they took my passport as a guarantee of payment which I didn’t have with me, the nurse seemed to think  couldn’t be admitted (more crying/violin playing) until thankfully someone was able to come and help me be admitted without my passport.  There was security on all the doors so no one can leave and they only removed the drip and cannula once the bill has been paid.  I understand why, but I really was reminded how lucky I am to live in a country with a National Health Service.  It might not be perfect but at least you never have to fear being turned away from a hospital like I nearly was, or worry about paying the bill – that truly is amazing.  But anyway – back to the story…

I was diagnosed with a chronic bladder, kidney and blood infections – septicaemia.  It was the septicaemia that was causing the convulsing and fitting.  I had non-stop drips running for three days with antibiotics, liquid and painkillers.  Honestly I can’t explain how ill I was.

The only other time I have felt that bad was when I was having chemo and a junior doctor gave me the wrong amount of morphine and I overdosed.

Because the hospital was so far from the hotel, it wasn’t easy for my family to visit so I spent most of the three days I was in there contemplating being severely ill again. Obviously it’s not like my cancer was back but being hooked up to machines day and night, having numerous scans and tests – it all felt far too familiar and took me back to an emotionally dark place.

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Getting to sit and watch the sunset

As there was a medical centre at my hotel, my consultant (after quite a lot of negotiation) agreed to let me convalesce in the hotel with the medical team supporting me.  I couldn’t get out of bed and was on a lot of medication but who cares… I was back and with my family for the last few days of holiday.

The day I was released I saw a blog post from Consciously Healthy which seemed to sum up just how I was feeling.  The author Emma was reflecting on how after a long recovery, she stopped giving her mind, body and soul the attention it deserved, till eventually her body gave-way again.  This was exactly how  felt.  I know I didn’t have cancer again and my life is full of people and things that I love, but slowly my life had returned to crazy busy with little down time and having septicaemia made me realise it was time to have a little rethink!

I will be writing more about how and ‘if’ the rethink happened in a few days so check back or sign up for part 2…

Are there any times in your life when you have had a rethink?  Or any tips for anyone else having a rethink?  Please leave a comment and share you stories with us.

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With love XX

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My Hero Product

My current Hero Product is ESPA’s Optimum Skin ProSerum.  It is truly remarkable.  On its website ESPA describe this product as,

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Absorbed instantly, skin feels soft, comforted and beautifully revitalised with youthful radiance.

In my opinion, it’s amazing!  My cancer treatment put me into early menopause which has had a catastrophic effect on my skin.  Some days its sallow and wrinkly and other days I’m breaking out like a teenager!  Thankfully either way this product makes me skin feel nourished, hydrated and soothed.

Women sometimes get worried about putting oil on their face but in reality the molecules in oil are so much smaller than lotion it’s easily absorbed by the skin.

Price wise, it is not for the faint hearted at £48 a bottle.  It does last a long time but still, might be worth getting a voucher!

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Purchase The Fabulous Woman's Guide Through Cancer on Kindle or in Paperback here!
Purchase The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer on Kindle or in Paperback here!

#100ActiveDays – Day 82

What can you achieve in 7 minutes?

A LOT!  One of the best things about New Year is all the new fitness DVD’s that come onto the market – including yet another beauty from my old favourite Davina McCall.  Each section is 7 minutes plus the warm up.  I honestly can’t tell you how much I ache now.  Her new personal trainer seems awesome as well.  Can’t wait to give more of the sections a go!

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Hartwell House Hotel and Aromatherapy Associates – Anti-Bucket List 2015 Update

One of the best things about putting ‘visiting Spa’s’ on my Anti-Bucket List is getting to do one of my favourite things…. visit spa’s!

Last weekend I had the complete joy of visiting a new spa near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, at Hartwell House Hotel with my lovely friend L.J. Ross.

Our rather stunning room
Our rather stunning room

The old manor house has been turned into a hotel in the most beautiful way.  It has retained the feel of a house, keeping four large drawing rooms with fire places for guests to relax in (or read and write within as was the case with us – what can I say, it’s all rock n’ roll when two writers go away).  With such a number of drawing rooms and a library available to use, it never feels crowded.  There was more than one moment when I felt like I was in Downton Abbey, especially when walking down the engraved, ornate staircase.

The Spa is in the old stables and has been wonderfully converted, again very sympathetically, complete with the required beige stone and soothing music.  The Spa uses Aromatherapy Associates a product that surprisingly, I hadn’t tried before.  The smell was delicious, not as fragrant as other products but I think that is a good sign.  It shows that there aren’t high levels of chemical perfumes added.

Unknown-3I had the Aromatherapy Associates Essential Rose Facial with Back Massage.  Starting with the back massage the therapist focused on my shoulders after I told her it was my area of concern and then went into the facial, complete with an amazing head massage.  I honestly felt like a new woman and my skin looked so clean and radiant, wonderful.  My wonderful co-assistant reviewer had an Indian Head Massage which she enjoyed but would have liked more time spent on her head and less on her shoulders as her back is so ticklish.  Thank God I don’t have that problem, couldn’t imagine not liking back massages!

I was very impressed by the products and went on to buy the Rose Face Mask and Rose Facial Tonic, which I am enjoying using.

Overall, I loved Hartwell House Hotel and Spa.  So much so that I am planning on taking husband there and it is high on my list of favourite hotel.  An amazing big tick of the Anti-Bucket List 2015, but I think I will happily add it again and again! 🙂

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#100ActiveDays – Days 50 to 59

Days 50 to 59 – Theme Parks in Florida

Straight off this might not sound like an #100ActiveDays activity, but let me tell you… it is THE most exhausting holiday you can imagine.  Totally amazing don’t get me wrong, but also totally active.  I wish I had worn a pedometer although without I know that I walked the same distance in a day that I would normally walk in a week, and most of the time whilst either pushing a buggy or holding a child.  The muscles in my legs and bum physically hurt towards the end of the trip.

Pretty awesome way to stay active!

My son and I on a water ride
My son and I on a water ride

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#100ActiveDays – Day 45

I have been horribly ill again!  I know it is the time of year and the kids bring home all sorts of bugs, that combined with an immune system that is still a little weak is never going to end well but still, slightly annoying and it’s not doing anything to assist me in my ‘100 Active Days’ genius plan!

Literally after I sent my last post, quite specifically at 7.30pm I lost my voice and haven’t quite got back to normal.

But good will prevail and I normal service will resume shortly……

Wish me well & any tips you have to boost an immune system will be warmly welcomed! x

#100ActiveDays – Day 40

We were out and about making the most of the dry (albeit incredibly windy) weather this weekend and making the most of being near the beach.

I love where I live but if I could change something about it, I would move it to a shoreline, I just love the beach and (probably weirdly), especially in the cold, when it is deserted and in my mind, even more beautiful.

So whilst visiting Norfolk with all the family, a walk on the beach was firmly on the agenda and was made even more magical by a certain seal following us up and down the shoreline, popping its head out every few seconds to see what we were all up too!

An awesome way to spend my 40th active day!

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