I am here again!

4 07 2013

So here I am again in Romania!

This time was supposed to be a holiday with one of my closest friends, Sarah but of course I could not come here without a little volunteering!

So after 3 days of laughing, drinking, eating and time with friends feeling completely free and relaxed Sarah and I have spent our last two days with the children at the orphanage.

I adore my time at the Special Needs School but these last two days have completely stolen my heart. Today we took the children to the park as responsible adults, so guess who was the first to the top of the slide with the children?

Unfortunately I forgot the fact that I am 42 years old an got stuck half way with my feet above my head causing a traffic jam half way down but eventually made it to the bottom. We rounded the trip off with a run through the water fountain being told off by the security guard! You know me I like to leave a lasting impression!

No one even has to ask me “are you coming back” any more they just ask “when” xxxx

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A Promise Fullfilled

10 06 2013

I am the type of person that when I make a promise to someone I keep it and so when I was last in Romania and I promised the children in my volunteer class that I would come back and see them, I absolutely had to and today I fulfilled that promise.

To them, volunteers come and volunteers go, they are grateful for the interaction but they are used to it. For me, it was something I had to do.

I needed to see those children I had bonded with and I needed to know they had progressed and they have in so many ways. I can see how much they have changed, their language skills, their interaction and their personality. But, so it seems have I. Today has been emotional beyond my wildest expectations but it has also been revealing personally.

Every time I come to Romania I feel a sense of ‘home’ that I don’t get anywhere else (being with my children excluded). It seems to give me the freedom to see with clarity what is good in my life and what isn’t.

Today I was forced to see who I am, how others perceive me and I now have a choice, am I brave enough to make that choice? Only time will tell.





Thank You

8 06 2013

I don’t take compliments well, I prefer to give them but I must just say a very gracious Thank you to Jayne for featuring me in her blog xxx

Jayne M Cox WOW Woman Blog





Return to Romania

7 06 2013

Today I arrived back in Romania so that on Monday I can full fill the promise I made to the children in the Special Needs School that I would return.

However I also promised Ali I would return. Ali runs the Volunteer Romania program and is an amazing person. From the moment we met on my first trip I knew I had found a friend, within hours she had me giggling. This time though, within hours she had me in tears. Tears because I had missed her, tears because here is the one place I don’t feel judged.

It has been an emotional night and I’m sorry to say I’ve been a lightweight and one half litre bottle of beer (and two sips of Tuica) was enough for me or I wouldn’t have controlled the emotions.

So tonight’s blog is brief as its now 2am and I need some sleep, I miss my babies and am shattered but I’ts good to be here xx





Super Heroes

21 05 2013

I think it’s funny how people react when it comes to giving money to charity. They can sit and watch over paid celebrities on the TV and the donations reach millions, but support just run of the mill people who actually get off their backside to ‘do something for charity’ well that’s somehow not as worthy.

On Sunday 19th May, the following people gave up their time (and a great deal of energy) to run around Regent’s Park in London dressed as Super Heroes:

Di and Henry Laker
Sheila Bailey
Zen Terrelonge
Hassan Djemal
James Hocherman (17)
Charlie Spencer (13)
And myself, Angela Spencer

I was running (OK I confess I walked some too) with a prolapsed disc in my back and Henry a knee injury but we refused to let it stop us because on the morning of the run our fundraising total stood at £1600. It is a total we are over the moon with and are grateful beyond words to the people that did sponsor us as it will help the charity Run4Cancer do some great work.

For me it is not the size of the donation that counts, any amount of money from £1 to 100 is given with generosity and compassion and has the same value in my eyes. The point is, they DID support us and donate.

There are many people out there who are unsung heroes; our armed forces, our emergency services, Macmillan nurses, volunteers, I could go on. My heartfelt thanks to them all.

For one day though, WE were Super Heroes. We DID something for charity. It was a great feeling of pride and achievement and I for one intend doing it again. So if you are one of those who have said “I will sponsor you” but haven’t quite got round to it yet please don’t think “I’ve missed it” you CAN still sponsor us here….
http://www.run4cancer.org/Superhero-TwitterSuperHeroes

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Combat Cancer – My Brush with Breast Cancer

17 05 2013

Hearing the word ‘Cancer’ fills us all with dread but you can never really know what impact that word will actually have on your life until you are sat in that consulting room. I was recalled for three biopsies and told that with three lumps the ‘odds were against me’. It was the hardest few days of my life. So many thoughts race through your head and with everyone asking “how are you feeling”, you just want to scream back “how do you think I feel” but you politely answer “I’m OK” instead.

What you should do is scream if you feel the need, cry and let all of the emotion out because at the end of the day holding it all in brings its own health issues and let’s face it there is going to be enough to deal with. So find the person you can do that with, it’s not always a close relative as you want to stay strong for them, but someone you still trust and know will just be there to hold you and support you when you need to ‘let it out’.

I was lucky, all 3 of my biopsies came back negative although I’ve since been back and had another cyst drained, but I decided that I didn’t want to sit back and forget about it just because I was the lucky one. So here is my research to help those that have found themselves on that path and it is a path, a journey, taking one step at a time, firmly and positively to ensure you reach that destination at the end so you can look back on the rocky road and say ‘I kicked Cancer’s butt!’

Diet CAN Help!

When you are facing a tough journey like this I very much believe that positive imagery can have an amazing impact on how smooth that journey is. For me, one of nature’s most beautiful wonders is the rainbow. It is a strong positive image but also a great reminder that things have to be in balance to create it. So, if you take the rainbow and the main colours it represents as food groups it gives you a perfect balance of diet to help you combat cancer.

Red

It has been well known for a long time that tomatoes have cancer fighting properties as they contain lycopene. This potential is increased if they are consumed in a processed form such as juice or sauce. Red peppers also get a mention as they are one of the best sources of vitamin C which strengthens your immune system for the journey ahead.

Yellow

Here is where we pump up the pulses as they’re a great source of fibre and protein without the animal fat. They also contain phytoestrogens and isoflavones and can help neutralise free radicals in the gut. Although I should mention at this point that men diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer should avoid soy based products!

Orange

It has to be carrots!! They are packed full of disease fighting nutrients, although best eaten cooked. They of course contain beta-carotene that many scientists believe may protect cell membranes from toxins damage and also slow the growth of cancer cells.

Green

Before I talk about the good old leafy green vegetables here I want to mention Green Tea! It has been used throughout the ages in medicine as it contains polyphenols and flavonoids. However, one class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of more intensive study for its anti-cancer potential. Some studies have shown that Green Tea has slowed or completely prevented cancer development in the colon, liver, breast and prostrate cells. So, swap the regular tea for the super cancer-busting Green Tea now!

Now for the leafy green ones kids hate! Spinach, kale and greens etc are full of fibre, folate and carotenoids! Again, some researchers believe that these carotenoids can prevent cancer developing further by acting as antioxidants and inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer and skin cancer cells.

Purple

Purple is my favourite colour but for the purpose of food it isn’t a word you very often find as descriptive. However, purple grapes and ‘blueberries’ are official super foods! Purple grapes contain resveratrol shown to possess potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. No wonder they were a traditional gift to hospital patients!

In general combine these super colourful foods with a traditional Mediterranean diet which is full of foods that are not only good for your health generally but are excellent for combatting cancer. Make sure that also includes plenty of oily fish as it is high in vitamin A which is important in the fight agains cancer as well as Omega-3 which is also recognised for its cancer fighting properties (Eye-q is the product I would recommend). A final word on diet goes to whole grains. Stick to the fibre rich brown rice etc and avoid the processed, stripped down varieties!

please be aware of any personal dietary needs if you are coeliac or diabetic for example

Don’t Eat ME

A word to the wise of a few foods you should avoid:
– caffeine (including the fizzy drink variety)
– sugar, processed cakes and biscuits (although a little dark chocolate when you need a treat is good)
– alcohol, as it can potentially cause damage to tissues that can trigger the cancer process in cells

Let the Sun Shine

Why is it that the feeling of the sun on our bodies can bring an instant smile to our face? Yellow in itself is a happy, positive colour and is a good colour to wear if you have cancer.

The sun however is underestimated! Our bodies thrive on vitamin D, it is known as the sunshine vitamin and it can have a positive impact when you are unwell and need strength for the road ahead. So, make sure you can spend even just 10mins a day out in the sun and if good old Blight fails in the sun stakes, a sun lamp will have to do!

Meditate

Meditation is an amazing health tool for everyone. Recent brain scans on individuals performing mindful meditation have shown a significant reduction in pain and stress. The old saying ‘mind over matter’ is not such an old wife’s tale it seems after all!

Alternative Therapies

I have always had a strong interest in exploring every avenue of alternative therapies and two of my favourite are aromatherapy and crystal therapy. Both are from Mother Nature herself and can have amazing healing properties.

Aromatherapy in this instance should be used to combat the stress of the situation you find yourself in and Lavender is wonderful for relaxation and healing properties (a great addition to a warm bath). In addition, Roman Chamomile whilst calming has anti-inflammatory properties too. So to help you sleep, relax after treatment or meditate, burn baby burn those oils!!

One other to mention is Tea Tree if you are having radiotherapy. Used neat on the site of the radiotherapy it has been known to reduce the burning sensation and is believed to help the effectiveness of the treatment.

Most of us are familiar with the rocks and crystals such as diamonds and emeralds, but we are not aware of the powerful natural energies that they and other less known crystals possess. Following my positive imagery theme it is fitting that it is the Rainbow Moonstone that is recommended for the healing of cancer and in particular, breast cancer.

I hope that by posting this research others who are facing this journey realise they are not alone and you don’t have to sit back and wait for medical treatment. You can start your fight against cancer, today.

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Another little piece of me…

13 03 2013

Well here we go again, another gynaecologist! This time though I’ve been assured he’s a good one! If he’s good enough for the Royal family etc etc!

So I have sat and explained my entire gynaecological history again, which surgeon has taken which piece of my body and when. Yet again I’ve had a surprised reaction at what has or hasn’t been done and yet again had conflicting advice on hormones!

So am I any further forward in finding a solution to my endometriosis? Well apparently I need to give up another little piece of me….

My remaining ovary, wherever it may be hiding needs to go! Oh and my cervix!

Then I’m told its just a small matter of finding the right balance of hormones! Maybe it’s a good thing I’m single, because it sounds like its going to be a turbulent year for my hormones!

So I have an MRI, another laparoscopy and playtime with hormones to look forward to over the coming months. Looks like there’s no hope for the Buddha belly any time soon!

Endometriosis is a lifelong battle, you never see the fighting on the outside because the war is being raged on the inside! However, I refuse to let it beat me!

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