To whom it may concern…

Sometimes we build such amazing online relationships with complete strangers, that we don’t realise the impact our lives have on other people.

We write about and talk about our lives / lived experiences on our blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts as though everyone reading it is meant to be our personal psychologist, ready to listen and give advice where necessary.

We just call upon our friends expecting them to be ready to bare our burdens, not considering that they have their own shit to deal with. We want the whole world to bear witness to our lives falling apart, but at what point to we take responsibility and accountability for our own actions.

The world is not your psychologist. You can’t just unpack your entire life, your breast cancer struggles, your suicidal ideations, your childhood trauma, on people – you don’t know how you’re triggering them!

And not everyone has the emotional capacity to deal with things.

I know I’ve packed out my entire life on this blog – because I didn’t know how else to deal with being diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. I don’t write my thoughts here so that someone can message me and provide psychological assistance. I know that there are many people dealing with first- and second-hand cancer diagnoses…my blog is about my struggle, and to create an awareness.

If I’ve ever triggered you in any way, I apologise with my whole heart, and I will completely understand if you cannot follow my story anymore.

My request, tho, is that if you’re dealing with something difficult, that you consider professional help, instead of throwing your problems into the void that is the internet and hoping that someone catches it and helps you. Sometimes, beloveds, you have to help yourselves.

I am always praying for you, asking the universe to protect you. And I hope that you do the same for me. And please, in all your interactions, URL & IRL, be kind…you don’t know what people are dealing with.

And always remember that I love you 🙂

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(Future) Chairperson of Itty Bitty Titty Committee address

So as you may or may not know, my cancer treatment involves getting a mastectomy, possibly a double mastectomy – I’ll discuss with my oncologoy team.

That means they will remove (not reduce) both my breasts, and reconstruct (either with fat, which I have in abundance, or with silicone)

But what I actually want to tell you guys about, is all the things I’m excited to do with small(er) breasts.

I’m extremely excited to be able to walk into any shop and buy a cute top. At this stage, I have two (2) stores I can go to, and let’s be honest, sometimes Miladys is extremely ouma, and Donna is very overpriced.

Let’s not even start with not having to spend my hard earned money at stront in a g cup. Finally I can just buy bras from Mr Price or Ackermans.

My favourite future thing is that men won’t ogle my chest unashamedly. Sir! My eyes are up here!

I’ll be so much lighter. My boobs are so heavy, guys, it’s such a mission to carry these 48Js around. I just hope this Vredehoek wind doesn’t carry me off into the mountains 😂

I’ve had big boobs since standard 3. I’ve hated them my whole life, and I wish I had done a breast reduction earlier. I also wish I didn’t have cancer, because I was almost able to afford that reduction. Lol. And because cancer sucks.

But here we are, looking for those silver linings.

I am going to be ungovernable with my new tette. I hope y’all are ready 😅

August, neh..

On a very serious note, I just want to know…when are we, women, going to be allowed to live?

Every day I am afraid of living a normal life, because I fear being killed.

Harassed…Kidnapped…Raped…Tortured…Sold into sex slavery…Murdered…

This is surely not a normal life to live?

Surely I am also deserving of having the opportunity to walk to the corner shop to buy a bread without a man telling me to “smile girlie”. KEN ONS MEKAAR???

Can I just once go to a club and not have a man grind his smet body against mine? And please don’t even bother buying me a drink, because I don’t have that nailpolish that can test for date-rape drugs.

And let me not even think about driving alone and having to wait at robots…

Are women really supposed to live life indoors (we can discuss femicide at the hands of our partners another day)?

Are we that undeserving of life that men would kill us?!

I’ve said this before, but I am tired of being a woman in this world that hates us so much.

Today is the 8th of August 2019, another woman was found murdered.

Happy women’s day.

FOMO

I want to tell you guys a secret. Lol. I want to tell you how I really feel about this cancer diagnosis.

Back when I was in denial about the whole thing, I was very sad. Because I didn’t want to die immediately. I have such fomo for nonsense, that all I could think about was people continuing with their daily lives and I won’t be part of it. I won’t get skinner stories on whatsapp, I won’t read anymore drama on Twitter, I won’t be around for the excursions. That made me very very sad.

And then I came to my senses, and reminded myself of everyone’s mortality, and that eventually I will die, even if it’s not from cancer. I really wanted to be that person who dies last, want ek wil niks mis nie. Kan mens ooit so versin wil wees 😂

Then with the whole diagnosis and chemotherapy, I was sad again. Not because I have cancer. Or because I am perpetually fatigued. But (and don’t laugh at me, nuh), I was emotional volgens all the love. It’s so overwhelming. I just want to cry, because people want to love me and be there for me. And I don’t always know how to accept love and support. Ek dink mos ek’s ‘n groot mens en kan alles self doen. So when people were sitting with me during chemo, or UberEats-ing me food, or buying me puzzle books, or sending me money, or just whatsapping me to say they were thinking of me, and they’re so proud of me, dan huil ek soema 😭

My heart is overflowing, now it’s spilling out by my eyes 😭❤️

I will never have enough thank you’s

It’s not just Twitter..

It’s weird how we share our lives with people. We invest our time and our effort. We learn their kinks, we get to know their partners, we watch their children grow up before our very eyes. And then finally we meet these people, to put faces to names and voices behind tweets.

Complete strangers know more about my life than my own mother, and I don’t even consider them ‘complete strangers’.
They’re my friends. My people. Nee mammie, ek wietie wa loep hulle kerk’ie. It maak oekie saakie.

These people have watched me grow. They’ve seen me change jobs, they’ve seen me fall in and out of love (so many times, lol), they’ve helped me survive breast cancer (and I didn’t flous them!) and they’ve loved and supported me through all of it – better than a burk, evens!

To everyone who I’ve allowed to interact with me via @li_298 over the last 8 years, I love you. It doesn’t matter that I’ve never met you, but let’s make a plan.
Sometimes my Twitter personality is bigger than my real life one, volgens being a shy person and so forth; and I feel so socially inept and unworthy of your follow. But, I have never in my life loved a bunch of strangers more.

Thank you that you’ve always allowed me to be me. You’ve seen me at my best, you’ve seen me at my absolute worst, and you still haven’t blocked me 😂

It’s not just Twitter 💕

Is this… Imposter syndrome?? During cancer??

Every time someone asks me ‘how are you doing?’ I get so ‘n knop in my keel. I feel like a bit of a fraud….

I am probably the healthiest cancer patient in the history of cancer patients 🙈

The chemo came for my hair, and that was that. I don’t have extreme nausea, WAA ISSIE WEIGHT LOSS, and I look so good (I know this because everyone keeps telling me, lol)

I feel a little, I don’t know… Cancer has come for people, taken mothers, defeated sisters… But me, I’m ouchea L I V I N G!

It must be y’alls prayers (it sure as fuck ain’t the EFTs😅) because someone out there has got my back in the biggest and best way possible..

And I’m grateful. Not for having cancer. But for the stark reminder that I am a bad bitch, and nothing is gonna get me down.

(pls continue praying for me, that I will keep up these good spirits, because cancer is difficult, and I’m not about to lose this battle!)

The fact of the matter…

During my dark, sleepless, cancer-denial 4 months, I googled everything there was to know about breast cancer.

 

I found out that 1 in 28 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And that even men can develop breast cancer. Actually, I knew that before. I always used to tease men smokers with “stop smoking you’ll get breast cancer”. I don’t know why they didn’t believe me, almost like they don’t have some few breast tissue also. (fun fact, if a cishet-male takes a pregnancy test, and it’s positive, he could have breast cancer.)

 

Anyway, I also found out that there are different TYPES of breast cancer. I really thought cancer was just categorised into “lung cancer”, “breast cancer”, “skin cancer”, I didn’t know there were SUB-CATEGORIES of the cancer categories. This obviously led me down a rabbit-hole of types of breast cancer, which included inflammatory breast cancer. (This is my one. It’s quite rare, and only 5% of women who develop breast cancer, develop this type.)

How special am I 🙂 (cancer’s **********!!)

 

I also found, tho I knew this already, that there are things that make you more susceptible to breast cancer. Family history being a big one, but I thought I was safe from this. Cancer ouchea looking at me like, “Bish ya thought!” (yay man, cancer’s *******!!)

 

And during all this googling and research, I found out that none of my policies have dread disease cover (my life policy is not even much, gaiz, so when I die please use the money to buy GH Mumm champagne to drink at my memorial service. Cremate me, I don’t need a tombstone).

 

What is the point of this post?

  1. Make sure your policies and medical aid is adequate and sufficient to cover a cancer (or any other dread disease) diagnosis. Read the benefits, make sure you understand it, phone their call centers. You won’t regret the time you spend on hold.
  2. Please go for your annual check-ups at your gynae / Dr. Please please. Don’t wait until that tiny 2016 lump explodes into a whole entire inflamed tet.
  3. Make sure your friends are family are amazing. (I don’t know what I would have done without my titty committee)
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re all human, we all need each other, and we can find ways to be there for each other. Whether we’re UberEats-ing food, or sending encouraging messages on fb messenger, we’ve got each other’s backs.

 

Beloveds, cancer is nogal not a death sentence. I mean, it’s a very complex sentence, with a lot of words, but death is not it.

So, please, I implore you to listen to your body, and take it seriously, and do the things that make the cancers to be done 😛