I’m getting ready to say ‘goodbye’ to 2014 and ‘Hello’ to 2015…and feeling extremely blessed to do so.
It’s been a pretty big year for me but for lots of good reasons. I started the year speaking in front of 350 people at a breast cancer fundraiser…and right there, I was hooked on spreading the message of how we can all help a loved one going through cancer treatment. I also walked the catwalk at that fundraiser modelling some clothes for Harlow, turns out the lady hosting is besties with Kerry from Harlow…this world is so small! I got out there on that catwalk with my ample body and one boob and strutted baby…loved it! It was the spring board for so much more to come including me doing lots of swimwear shoots LOL.
Now I didn’t always have this confidence, hell I hated having my photo taken and only had 40 people at my wedding…didn’t even wear a traditional dress as I was so conscious of being the centre of attention. I’m a confident person but was never confident about my body or looks, until cancer tried to take them…now I freakin love the shit outa myself. It’s a shame to live a life any other way because it’s too short to have self loathing and comparisons steal time.
2014 saw 2 more surgeries, one of them was bloody massive with 12 hours on the table and to be honest it saw me shed more tears than chemo ever had me in. I had my other breast removed and a double reconstruction using my Latissimus Dorsi muscles taken from my back and wrapped around my front, I also had skin removed and placed on my chest and tissue expanders inserted under the flaps. My back has 2 x 30cm scars and nerve damage galore and I feel like I’m always wearing a tight bra.
The second surgery 6 months later was to remove the tissue expanders and have implants popped in, a little revision surgery on one breast and a scar or two cleaned up. I totally nailed this one, it was surgery number seven and I’m getting pretty good at them, I’m also extremely happy with how my Foobs (fake boobs) are coming along. Sure the scarring is still a bit nasty but I know they will fade down and next year I can look forward to another surgery to make nipples and then tattoo for the areola colour. Then my boobs will be complete. YAY!
With all these surgeries, treatment and rehabilitation my Mister and I decided it’s better for me not to return to working in retail. It’s almost impossible for me to hold down a job with the amount of appointments I have and to be honest the stress that managing in retail brings just ain’t worth it.
March saw me start my own business ‘Styling Curvy’, I started taking pics and tapping away on the keyboard opening myself up to all of you and well…you all embraced me and my ‘Styling Curvy’ vision. I’m so tech challenged that it’s almost a comedy but I’ve been slowly teaching myself how to do word documents, Dropbox, photo resizing, Google analytics, web stats and the like…oh and I started a blog in Mid October. I know right ‘WHO AM I?’.
My family have been so incredibly supportive and patient helping me out when I’m totally frustrated with technology and taking my daily pics. They even spoilt me this Christmas with a fancy pants camera, selfie stick, light box and IPAD mini. We aren’t flush with cashola and when I unwrapped those gifts I gotta say I had a few tears, happy tears because it showed they believe in me. Even though they whinge about taking my pic or roll their eyes as they wait to tuck into dinner as mama takes a pic for Instagram they are proud of me, and on days when blogging is all too lonely or no one is looking at my blog posts or commenting I need to remember that feeling of belief. Get ready for some serious lightbox action 🙂
So I started my business with a Facebook page, then an Instagram account and a Blog and then I started working with brands I love. Well actually, I starting working with a few before the Blog came and it was their kind words of support that encouraged me to take a leap of faith and start the blog. Let’s face it if I don’t have content then Styling Curvy wouldn’t be very styling now would it? These brands all came on board very organically, I had prior relationships with some of them which has now blossomed into friendships. They send me fabulous products which if I love enough I share them with all of you. They advertise on my blog and some even pay me for my time and writing. I’m not earning much but it all makes me feel valued and makes me dream a little bigger.
Speaking of money I did a lot of fundraising this year taking my total raised to just shy of $20 000 since I was diagnosed, I’m very proud of that. I did 2 radio interviews a television interview was in the papers a few times, did several public speaking events, a few fundraisers and was ambassador for The Hospital Research Foundation and The Mothers Day Classic. Phew, I did a lot this year!
On a personal note I lost a few people this year and embraced a few who are enduring their own shitty cancer diagnosis. Friends lost family, I lost friends and family. Makes me even more grateful for drawing breath.
My boys are coming out the other side of my cancer too which impacted them tremendously. The further I get away from cancer and the closer I come to wellness the more they smile and you can just see them exhale with relief. Master 16 is heading into year 11 and Master 19 is heading back to Uni to study engineering, being a DJ has its perks but it doesn’t pay so well 🙂
My Mister has been my rock and this year we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a road trip along the great Ocean Rd, it was the honeymoon we never had. Not long ago we didn’t think I would be here to see 20 years but I am and we are looking forward to the next year and the one after that.
Well what will 2015 hold for me? Who knows really (none of us do) but I’m hoping to get healthier and stronger in mind and body. I want to grow Styling Curvy with more followers and brands and would love to attend Kidspot Awards and Pro blogger in 2015.
I’m hoping to take cool pics with my new camera and master the tech stuff. I will be volunteering with The Hospital Research Foundation and doing more fundraising. I’ll have more surgery and keep taking my daily pills and having my monthly injections. I’d like to spend more time on our deck and maybe tend to our neglected garden a little (maybe!). I’d love to take a holiday or two with my 3 loves, maybe even get a passport! I want to head to Queensland and catch up with family and friends, do more yoga and…well I just want to be happy.
Blogging, the beach, friends, family and my dog all make me happy…and all of you. I hope you will all continue to join me on my Styling Curvy ride, you may not always like what I wear or what I write about but that’s ok. I will stay true to me and will bring you products, tips and info that I believe will benefit you. I hope to write more about beauty and my road to wellness including how I lost 30 plus kilos and how my relationship with food has changed.
Well here’s to 2014 and I can’t wait to embrace 2015, what about you? Are there big changes ahead for you or maybe goals you would like to achieve?
Thanks for believing, commenting, reading, sharing and just being fabulous stylistas!