Welcome to my blog! I’m Jen. I live in London with my husband, 4-year old son and 9-year old whippet. I was a Pilates instructor and blogger about Pilates and low-carb recipes until July this year when I was diagnosed with metatastic breast cancer which had spread to my liver, lungs, and spine. You can read more about that diagnosis here on my first, somewhat depressing post written from my hospital bed shortly after the diagnosis. I guess I hadn’t seen the humourous side to it all at that point and was somewhat in shock. Stage 4 cancer is no joke and yes it is terminal (according to traditional western medicine). However, doing a quick search on google for “stage 4 cancer survivors” reveals a whole other world of treatments, anti-cancer protocols and natural healing methods that I made it my mission to delve into, thus cheering myself up immensely.
“And who are you” I hear you asking “that I would want to dedicate my precious time to reading about?” Ok. Let’s see…
- Am I a celebrity? – No, but my whippet had a four-night run in an off West-End Theatre. Does that count?
- Am I an expert? – No. I’m just a normal girl (woman) who was doing my best to get along when cancer came calling and changed my life forever.
- Have I made a shed load of cash and retired to a Mediterranean island? – Ummmm… I’m working on it.
Ok, so I may be none of those things but I am in the process of carving out a new life for myself, a life with cancer, and along the way am constantly gaining some invaluable insights, tips for improving health whether a cancer survivor or not, and some damn good juice recipes. All of which I will share with you.
In this blog I invite you into my world, to share my life and experiences, the ups and the downs on the long healing journey that I have embarked upon. I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and only the truth. Not just the postives and the “up” moments, but also the sad times, the bad times and the hard times. So I implore you to come along on this journey with me…
So, to summarise, here are my credentials in list format (I like lists so you will see a lot of them from me)
- I am a Pilates instructor with 14 years of teaching experience based in Southeast London.
- I am a proud whippet owner (did I mention that my whippet was in a play off the West End?)
- In 2015 my husband and I adopted a beautiful baby boy.
- Four months later I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer and spent the entire of 2016 having treatment (6 months of chemotherapy, two surgeries and five weeks of radiotherapy).
- To help with number four, I cut out nearly all carbs from my diet and became a bit of an amateur baker.
- I love chocolate.
- Following my year of treatment, I came back with a vengeance and completed my training to become the only Scolio-Pilates instructor in the UK, also managing to build my business back up again.
- I am mother to a gorgeous four-year old whose favourite word is “No!”.
- In July of this year (2018) my cancer came back with a vengeance and took up residence in my liver, lungs and spine. Since then I have had a course of chemo, hooked up with an integrative oncologist and made huge changes to my lifestyle trying out a range of alternative therapies and treatments that I will be sharing with you.
- Despite loving chocolate and cake, I am now on a strict plant-based diet (no meat or dairy at all) consisting of alot of juices, occasional fasting and absolutely NO SUGAR. However, dark chocolate of 90% or more is allowed! Woo hoo!
So, who am I? I am Just Jen and this is my blog. Real-life and surviving cancer told by a real mother, wife, dog owner, cancer survivor and chocolate lover. I still can’t actually believe that anybody will want to listen to what I have to say, but maybe there will just be one person out there (other than my mother) who will follow me. And that will make me very happy.
Yours in health and chocolate,
Posts to look forward to…