And so it begins…

20 10 2014

Hello Everyone,

My last entry was way back in March and I’ve fallen off the radar a bit. I started dating a friend’s brother and quickly gained a complicatedly extended family and a new group of friends. My weekends were busy with visits and juggling my time between the various people in my life, and balancing work with the hopes of some, me-time was difficult to negotiate – so this blog took the hit… which is why I haven’t written a thing since January.

But now, things are… different. A LOT has changed.

I started dating Paul* in January and after 8 months of consideration and deliberation I decided it wasn’t working between us. On the 1st of September I decided to end it (I’ll go into the ins-and-outs of it all one day).

That night I got painful abdominal cramping. I took some Advil and tried to go to sleep, telling myself that it was the guilt of the days events or maybe that dodgy sandwich I’d had for dinner, but the pain persisted all night.

In the morning I took more Advil but the pain remained and at about 10am I asked my Mum to come with me to the doctors surgery to get checked out (by the way, generally speaking, I’m not an alarmist – and the doctors surgery is always my last resort, so the fact that I wanted to go, gives you some idea of the pain I was in).

The doctor asked some questions and gave me physical exam. He sent me straight the Accident & Emergency fearing it was a appendicitis or an ectopic pregnancy. I was admitted to Queens Hospital for 10 days while they ran various tests. My pain was managed well with oral morphine, oxycontin and paracetamol. They ran blood tests and did an MRI scan.

I was told (upon discharge) that a mass was found on my ovary and that it was a staggering 8 cms. The registrar informed me that I would receive a letter about scheduling a check up and then a surgery date to remove the mass (the letter came but was scheduled for mid December – I was furious and in a lot of pain. How could they expect me to deal with that pain for months!).

On the 22nd of October I got a call from the hospital informing me that an emergency appointment had been made with the gynological team at Queens for me to attend for blood tests on the 24th of October.

When I went on the 24th of October I went through the blood tests and my consultant told me that the MRI team had rushed my scans to her desk because what they saw had concerned them. She told me to keep my mobile on because she was going to rush the results and get them to me that night. At about 8:30 pm she called. It was bad news. The ovary and my blood tests showed elements of malignancy. She scheduled me for a removal of my ovary on the 26th September and a CT scan and blood tests on 25th September.

The results of the CT scan showed that I had some dodgy looking lymph nodes, which they would also remove, during my surgery. They also said they would biopsy surrounding areas including my other ovary and womb.

The surgery happened, and sucked (the mass on my ovary had grown to 12 cms – that about the size of an iPhone). I was in so much pain and I look like I’ve been cut in half… scars are sexy, right..?

We went for the results of the biopsy on the 15th October (last Wednesday).

It wasn’t good.

In fact it was awful.

Debilitating.

The biopsies returned positive for an aggressive stage 3 cancer which had spread to my womb.

The only form of treatment is to remove my womb and other ovary.

At age 27 and childless, I have to have a hysterectomy.

I spoke to them about possibly removing my eggs and freezing them but the surgeon expressed an urgency with time and that their priority was me and my health and that they weren’t willing to advise me to wait in order to have my eggs removed.

I was devastated.

I am devastated.

We are all devastated.

The operation to remove my womb and good ovary is scheduled for the 28th of October. After that, chemo and/or radiation will be my treatment until I am given the all-clear.

I don’t really know what is left to say.

I’m not really sure why I’m even writing about this.

Maybe for completeness…

Maybe over the years I have come to feel like I owe you. Like you deserve for me to have accountability and transparency with you.

I have talked to you at length about my hopes and dreams and aspirations and stresses and irritations… so why not this..?

I would ask you all for one thing: Please send me your positivity and thoughts. This is a time when I really need all the good vibe-i-ness I can handle.

Thank you.

Tara xoxox

P.S. Not sure how long it will take me to recover after the next surgery, and not sure if I’ll be up for blogging, so you may not hear from me for a while, but I will be back eventually.





Happy Friday!

21 03 2014

This ad makes me happy every time I watch it! Happy Friday all! xoxo





DJ Fresh vs. Jay Fay Feat. Miss Dynamite – Dibby Dibby Sound

25 02 2014

Love this video – I think I’ll be buying my dad the pink suit! xoxo





Will.I.Am – Bang Bang

25 02 2014

Love this song! Been blasting it in the car for the last 3/4 weeks – seriously I’m obsessed! xoxo





Featured Piece: Trinidad 2013 by Shekhar Mahabir

25 02 2014

Carnival 2013 J'Ouvert

I would like to share with you, a piece of writing that my father (above – being attacked by my friend during J’Ouvert) did about his time in Trinidad in 2013. He was born and grew up in Southern Trinidad and left with his wife and young daughter (me!) for England to study Law. He eventually moved over into teaching instead and set down roots in East London with his family. Some 20-something years later, now retired, he returned last year to Trinidad for 6 months – the longest he has been home since leaving over 20 years ago. Here are his thoughts…

San Fernando From SF Hill

My four months sojourn in Trinidad left me with a mixed response. In some ways it was exhilarating and invigorating: in others it was a reminder to me of the reasons I left 24 years ago.
Spending time with family and friends was a pleasure with the usual vacation activities, a New Year weekend in Tobago, trips to Maracas and Manzanilla and even Los Iros (on my own). Having drinks with friends in the rumshops and bars was especially enjoyable particularly in the weeks through the Christmas season and leading up to Carnival.
I loved the local food which I didn’t realise how much I missed. Simple sada roti and chokha, baigan, tomato, okra, carailli, ground provisions, King fish and carite and curry duck and shrimps and all the great variety of local dishes were a treat. I know you could get similar meals abroad but not the same. They don’t have the landscape in them, nor the rhythm and energy of the place.
The most enjoyable aspect of Carnival was the Chutney soca music finals at Skinner Park. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing soca and calypso drifting into sound from radios, taxis, shops and at events. The atmosphere was similar to what I was used to growing up. I did observe however that the racial divide has become more entrenched in the world of calypso. While there are shared appearances between the young soca stars and the Indian chutney singers, the traditional calypso tents and old time style travelling tents were not very popular with the Indian audiences. And the reason seems to be that the politics along racial lines still exist. For example Sugar Aloes and De Fosto were booed and heckled at the calypso semi finals mainly because they were showing an openness and acceptance of the PP as the government of the day. And while the Indian chutney singers had a range of popular melodies, the themes usually reflected were for the males, being free, single and able to drink and make merry. For the females it was about wining and shaking down the place.
On the day to day living and transactional side of things, the slow pace of workers in government offices and banks and other business places remain as they ever were. It took me a whole day waiting in a queue to get an original of the new computer generated birth certificate. Another entire day to open a bank account and differing requirements to be produced on different days depending on who is at the reception desk. It seems as ever the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.
Crime is still high though concentrated in certain areas like Laventille, Maloney, Diego Martin and other hot spots along the East West corridor. Murder weekends still make the news and in some cases are reflective of the deepening hold of the drug underworld kingpins. A case in point was the macabre discovery of a head on a table at the bar next the Skippers at the end of Pond St. The rest of the body was discovered in the canefield on Dumfries Road. This is clear evidence of a message being sent out to others in that underworld. Both perpetrators and victims seem to know each other and each murder or reprisal seems to be part of an underworld gangs’ battle for turf in the ever escalating drug war.
Police roadblocks are frequent and turn up on weekends and holiday times when drunk drivers and drug traffickers are actively sought out with spot checks and searches. Police vehicles are seen regularly on the road pulling over drivers and berating them for some misdemeanor or the other (for example a driver of a lorry was pulled over for allowing a passenger in the front seat to carry a child on her lap) So I would say the security services are more vigilant. Yet in spite of all this the occurences of crimes such as robbery and shootings still occur on a regular basis.
People still have double and triple locks and alarms and multiple security in their homes. But life goes on. People go the shows in the Bowl and other venues in San Fernando. Large crowds turn up at public events and the happy go lucky atmosphere and attitudes still pervade.
The most invigorating feelings came from enjoying the hot tropic weather. I loved the early dewy mornings and late afternoons. On evenings it was incredibly peaceful to sit on the patio, look out on the Gulf and watch the sunset on the horizon or just see the evening pass into night time like I used to feel sitting in my hammock in Avocat and looking out into the driveway.
In spite of all the wonderful moments and activities in Trinidad I have to admit that I looked forward to returning to London. I feel I can have both without having to decide to give up one for the other. Trinidad will always be my home, the place where I come from and to which I still feel a sense of belonging. The people know me and I know them. The friendliness and effortless camaraderie still exists and it warms my heart to feel that acceptance. The disillusion I felt which caused me to leave is still there. It may sound strange but I love Trinidad all the more because I know I can leave it. I know also that it is not going anywhere and what I miss and long for is just a flight away and with more flexibility in my time I can visit and leave at my convenience. But I love London as my adopted home and I feel I belong here as well. So why not have both. That is my position. I am a citizen of the world which for me is a global village.
Perhaps in the future I may look for a place of my own in Trinidad to eventually retire and end my days. But not now. Now I want to enjoy my semi retirement by travelling and enjoying the Metropolis and city life as much as I can.





That Time of Year

6 01 2014

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Happy New Year one and all!

I hope you had a magical season!!!

I’ve not been updating much because I’ve been running around like a headless chicken, seeing friends and attending boozy nights! It’s been fun, but now things are getting back into a routine I am able to calm down.

Just so you know, I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. Yes, as a matter of social discussion I make them and stick to them for about 3 weeks, but generally, new year or not, I swing in roundabouts with the promises I hope to fulfil for myself.

This year however, I have decided to actually form a few resolutions I hope to stick with for a whole 12 months.

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The first of which (should be no surprise) is to lose weight. Last year I managed to lose 5 stone or 70lbs. I’ve successfully kept it off. This year I would like to shift 3-4 stone or about 50lbs. I know I can do it, I just have to seriously push to break through the wall I’ve hit.

My second is to cut down on my smoking. I know, I know, you’re shocked that I would engage in such a disgusting habit! I have given up in the past and I chose to go back. Mind you, I didn’t say I wanted to stop, but I do want to cut back.

My final resolution is a theory Jelly-Bean shared with me. She calls it the Lean In theory (basically, carpe diem). We spend so much time not doing things because we try to see where they’ll get us, and if we assume a negative we don’t do it. Even if the initial ‘thing’ is something that appeals to us. For example, going for that job promotion even though you don’t want to be a part of that department for the long haul. Who cares? If you like that job, go for it, don’t worry about where it’ll lead. You worry about getting trapped into a branch of a company you’re not interested in because of the possibility of something you have no way of knowing the outcome.

Plus, who knows, maybe you’ll love that branch, or it’ll lead to other things, or you’ll learn something about yourself.

This theory can apply in other areas of ones life too – per example, I can’t go on a date with that guy, my parents would hate him! Seriously?! We’re talking one date, don’t get in your head and start imagining the wedding seating arrangements. It might not (probably) won’t get that far. So just enjoy it for what it is. Turn your brain off and as Jelly-Bean says to me all the time, “lean the fuck in”. Get out of your head and go try some stuff, take some risks, because you never know what you might find.

Plus, what would you really be losing..?

xoxo





Sixpence None The Richer – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

24 12 2013

From me to you…

I hope you all have a very merry, safe and sparkly Christmas! xoxo








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