Ginger Snaps - The blog of Jayne Hawkins

Go Sober!

Right, all this toxic medicine has clearly affected me more than I ever thought possible and as a result I appear to have gone off the old vino! So I have decided to make something good come out of this disastrous occurrence and go on the wagon for October to raise some money for Macmillan Cancer.

Go Sober for October!

I would really appreciate it if you would kindly donate the price of a bottle of wine or the cost of a drink or two to this fantastic cause!

Welcome to Ginger Snaps!

Hi, my name is Jayne and I am a 39 year old Geordie lass living just a few miles north of Newcastle. I am married to Simon who owns his own web design agency and we have two sons, Kyle aged 11 and Leo aged 9. I work in a lovely Primary school as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. In September 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and this blog is our journey through the ups and downs that this diagnosis will inevitably bring.

If you're wondering about the name of the blog, I will be using this to share little snapshots of info and of course I am ginger - so Ginger Snaps!

Meeting a Plastic Surgeon

Meeting a Plastic Surgeon

It’s been almost two months since treatment finished and thankfully I’m feeling rather well! The rotten fatigue seems to have gone as has the puffed out feeling and more importantly the awful diarrhoea thank goodness!

Posted on: 13 December 2014 | Read More

Treatment - DONE!!!!

Treatment - DONE!!!!

It’s been quite a while since I last blogged. I guess over the past few months there hasn’t been a huge amount to say really, life has kind of carried on and returned to normal. I’ve been having my treatment every 3 weeks which has been fine.

Posted on: 15 October 2014 | Read More

Leo's perspective

Leo's perspective

My Mam was very brave during chemotherapy because she dealt with it with not many problems.

Posted on: 04 July 2014 | Read More

Kyle's perspective

Kyle's perspective

I think everybody coped very well when Mam was having her chemo. Mam was very brave and hardly worried.

Posted on: 04 July 2014 | Read More

Radiotherapy fall-out

Radiotherapy fall-out

It’s been 3 weeks since radiotherapy finished now so I thought I’d blog a little update on how the fall-out from that went. Luckily it was OK and my skin and I haven’t been too bad.

Posted on: 01 May 2014 | Read More

Radiotherapy finishes!

Radiotherapy finishes!

So yesterday I finished radiotherapy, 15 blasts done YAY! 3 weeks of traipsing to the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital for a 10 minute daily treatment.

Posted on: 08 April 2014 | Read More

Radiotherapy starts!

Radiotherapy starts!

Herceptin and Perjeta number 7 were fine, no drastic side effects thankfully. A bit of an upset tummy and a slightly funny taste in my mouth for a day or two but nothing like the nastiness chemo brought.

Posted on: 19 March 2014 | Read More

Surgery

Surgery

Eventually the day of surgery arrived – Tuesday 4th February, exactly 5 months to the day since diagnosis. It had been a long time coming that’s for sure.

Posted on: 25 February 2014 | Read More

The next step - surgery!

The next step - surgery!

So it’s the night before surgery. Its been a long time coming to be honest…….in fact now I think about it the day of surgery is exactly 5 months after my date of diagnosis.

Posted on: 03 February 2014 | Read More

Cycle number 6 - The last one!

Cycle number 6 - The last one!

Cycle number 6…….the last one ever with a bit of luck! I was both excited for it and dreading it. Excited as it was the last one and therefore the last round of side effects, but dreading it as I knew what was coming even if it was for the last time.

Posted on: 22 January 2014 | Read More

Cycle number 5

Cycle number 5

So round 5……..Nearly there! I wasn’t really looking forward to this one as I knew my taste buds would have left the building by Christmas Day and that would also be the time I would be at my lowest. I guess I could have postponed it in order to be fit for Christmas but I didn’t want to do that due to the knock on delay it would give me, so off we went for my “Christmas Cocktail”.

Posted on: 07 January 2014 | Read More

Cycle number 4

Cycle number 4

Well here we are on the eve of the penultimate chemo can you believe. According to an app on my phone I’ve done 83 days of this crap now and I honestly think it’s gone quite quickly looking back, although some days have dragged beyond belief.

Posted on: 17 December 2013 | Read More

The fabulous Dr Branson

The fabulous Dr Branson

About a week after treatment number 4, I had an appointment with my Oncologist, Dr Branson (yes he is related to the other Mr Branson we all know).

Posted on: 08 December 2013 | Read More

Leo's blog post

Leo's blog post

It was kind of weird because my Mam was off work just staying at home and I didn’t know why.

Posted on: 01 December 2013 | Read More

Half Way!

Half Way!

After cycle 3 had been administered it meant I had received half of my chemotherapy treatment, whoohoo.

Posted on: 26 November 2013 | Read More

Cycle number 3

Cycle number 3

Wow, we are up to the third cycle, half way there although technically that point will be once I’ve reached the end of the three weeks that follow treatment.

Posted on: 25 November 2013 | Read More

Looking after the burden!

Looking after the burden!

Well since Jayne has been blogging away I thought I would get in on the act to give a bit of insight from a different perspective.

Posted on: 24 November 2013 | Read More

Side effects of treatment 2

Side effects of treatment 2

Day 19 of cycle 2 and it’s the eve of treatment number 3 which will be half way through this part of the journey YAY!

Posted on: 05 November 2013 | Read More

Kyle's blog post

Kyle's blog post

It was the first week at my new school. I was at the high school! Mam was off school. I thought she was getting a week off school.

Posted on: 04 November 2013 | Read More

Friends I never knew I had

Friends I never knew I had

When I was first diagnosed I was told not to google too much! I appreciate this can be a bad move having initially been given vague information about such a huge condition.

Posted on: 20 October 2013 | Read More

Going Sober for October!

Going Sober for October!

Right, all this toxic medicine has clearly affected me more than I ever thought possible and as a result I appear to have gone off the old vino!

Posted on: 19 October 2013 | Read More

Treatment number 2

Treatment number 2

Well I must say the first three weeks went by quite quickly. The fact that I hadn’t been “ill” was great for all of us I think. Not only was it brilliant for me as I don’t do being ill very well it was great for Simon and the kids.

Posted on: 18 October 2013 | Read More

Side effects of treatment 1

Side effects of treatment 1

My chemotherapy is administered every three weeks which obviously means a cycle lasts 21 days, day 1 being the day chemo is given. I decided to keep a kind of diary to see if there was a pattern emerging with side effects so that I could maybe plan better for future cycles.

Posted on: 17 October 2013 | Read More

Kyle & Leo visit the ward

Kyle & Leo visit the ward

When I was initially diagnosed one of the first question that we were asked was if we had children. As I’ve previously mentioned we have two boys, Kyle aged 11 and Leo aged 9.

Posted on: 16 October 2013 | Read More

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

When someone mentions chemo the first thing you think of is hair loss so I knew this was coming and surprisingly enough I was reasonably calm with it.

Posted on: 09 October 2013 | Read More

Treatment starts

Treatment starts

Once all of the tests had been carried out and the results of the important ones were in I knew exactly what I was up against and I felt like I was back in control somewhat which was a huge relief.

Posted on: 25 September 2013 | Read More

Wig shopping

Wig shopping

The wig shopping trip wasn’t as bad as I thought. I had been sent to a back street wig shop in the centre of Newcastle and I took my parents and Simon along for support.

Posted on: 24 September 2013 | Read More

Telling Kyle and Leo

Telling Kyle and Leo

This was never going to be easy, in fact other than waiting for the big test results to come back this has been the hardest part so far.

Posted on: 20 September 2013 | Read More

The tests

The tests

I was booked in for four scans – CT scan, bone scan, MRI scan and a heart scan, all routine in the circumstances to give the hospital a clear indication of exactly what they were dealing with. The bone scan was first and was pretty interesting.

Posted on: 19 September 2013 | Read More

It’s official

It’s official

We had a week to wait until we were back for the final diagnosis on the 11th. I’d been told to take a day or two off work after the biopsies anyway but I wasn’t ready to head back to work again without the answers to my own questions.

Posted on: 11 September 2013 | Read More

The news no one wants to hear

The news no one wants to hear

Let’s rewind a month or so to late August/early September 2013. We had just come back from a fabulous holiday to America – Washington, New York and Boston, to celebrate Simon’s 40th back in June, our 15th Wedding Anniversary back in early August and my 40th next March.

Posted on: 04 September 2013 | Read More