Thursday, 1 January 2015

Thank you. x.

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This is a long overdue post.

I never meant to stop blogging. It just happened. So this is a post to say hello, tell you I am happy, still loving Mr. Darcy - and also to say thank you.

This blog, for many years, was a really central part of my life. Because of this blog, I have loved myself more, loved my body more and also been loved - by many of you. The community around the world of blogging and the support and friendship we give one another is amazing. I cherish it.

There are a couple of reasons I stopped blogging… but first let me give you a Trigger Warning. This post mentions Cancer and Fear. I am okay - but it would be remiss of me not to warn you of this content. x. 

The Post I Couldn't Quite Write.

There was a post I couldn't write. That post, for a long while, kind of hog-tied my ability to blog any more. You see, at the end of 2013, I found myself a breast lump. A properly real, deafeningly scary, breast lump. The kind of thing you feel and don't query - "is this a lump?". No - this was the kind of thing you feel and think - "this is what the tell us to look for… Exactly this". Up front, let me say - I am okay. No treatments needed as the lump was benign. But. The lump was scary.  So scary - that to say it out loud was too much. But - here I go.

I found the lump one morning as I went to take a shower. Darcy was in bed still. It was late December and the cold water was taking a long time to warm up. While waiting, I thought I'd do a quick breast exam, which I probably do every couple of months. I lifted my right arm up, so my right hand was behind my right shoulder - elbow high in the air. I took my left hand and felt the top of my right breast.

And there it was. Right away. A lump.

Now, some of you may want to know what the difference was between the lump and my normal breast tissue; my breast tissue is soft to touch, while the lump was not. The lump was hard and defined - a very obvious difference and very scary thing to feel. I got in the shower and washed, overwhelmed and not wanting to acknowledge. I got out the shower, toweled off and felt for the lump again... There it was.

I flew into the bedroom to see Mr. Darcy. Darcy could immediately tell there was something serious happening as I sat down next to him and in a measured tone, asked him to feel the top of my breast. I handn't imagined it. Darcy was very careful how he spoke to me. He was gentle and leading, without telling me what to do. He also intuitively knew he had to remain calm for me. It was clear to us both that I had to see a doctor.

It was all really scary. My G.P. felt the lump and sent me for a day of testing at our local hospital. This is a day where they ultrasound, then mammogram, then biopsy ALL IN ONE DAY, as needed. It was actually really good to know that most of the testing would all happen in one day and even now, I feel lucky that my local hospital has a specific Breast Care Clinic. It was a scary morning. Just getting to the hospital was hard. We (all of us) know someone who's had breast cancer. Hopefully, most of the people we know have survived. In my head, I wasn't thinking about dying from Cancer, but rather losing my breast(s), undergoing chemo and having radiation therapy. I have lived through Cancer very closely with family and also with friends, and while they all showed great strength, the prospect of it happening to me was still very, very scary. I desperately wanted to know how bad my lump was so I could know what course of treatment I would have. I felt like KNOWING would make things better or clearer for me. But still, my friends; I nearly passed out when I was taken in to be examined. Such great fear.

I want to add, that in the lead up to my hospital visit, I did set my fear out of my mind as much as I could. I focused on other things - work, life, family. I even went on a road trip (!!), but, when the day of testing arrived - I didn't mean to be so fearful - rather, the fear was just there.

Needless to say, my testing went well. The lump I found was real and showed up on the ultrasound, but did not show up as malicious. The conclusion was made that I had a ridge of compacted glandular tissue at the top of my breast. NATURAL - but a hard and defined lump, nonetheless. A year later (today), and that ridge has migrated back into my natural breast.

I did have to go back and see a Consultant a few days after my testing… She confirmed the all clear. I left the hospital and sat outside and cried for about an hour. For weeks afterwards, this actually plagued me. Such horrible fear. Even now, I feel uncomfortable to really think about the fear that my lump caused me, and I feel somewhat ashamed knowing that there are many women out there NOT so lucky as I was. For support, I did end up calling Macmillan Cancer Support and of course, had my wonderful Darcy by me. AFTER the fact I told my mum and a couple of my girlfriends about it - but still held it very close. Fear is crippling, huh? And I didn't even HAVE Cancer.

After this experience, trying to get back to blogging about clothes seemed frivolous. Finding a breast lump is what I wanted to tell you about. But this was a hard post to write, and my fear was a hard thing to confront - but THIS, was all I wanted to say. I wanted to share this experience as I feel, as women, we NEED to share these experiences with one another. And as this post got harder to write and more distance was set between myself and the experience, I got busy doing other things. Work (always!!). But also, in my down time - I just wanted to be with Darcy, be with friends and be with my dog. I thought about blogging, of course I did, but my heart wanted to be filled with other things. Offline experiences, as such!

I have, to some degree, passed my time for blogging. I still love the blogosphere and our world and our community, but I have moved to a different place, an offline place, and I feel happy. I would LOVE to tell you that I am back on the blog for 2015, but with a contract from now until November, I know that taking photos and writing posts will fall wayside, as I spend my downtime doing tangible things that warm my heart.

I am still around, just not on here.

So thank you, my loves, for your support and friendship these last five years. Thank you for your messages, affirmations, critiques and comments. You have helped fill my soul and I love you for it.

Stay true to yourself and love yourself always… or, on the "off days" just love yourself the best you can. Remember, we all have the "off days".

Have a great 2015.

Much love,

Em. x.

For advice on how to check your breasts, please follow either of these links: - Self Exam.
National Brest Cancer Foundation - Exams.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Curvy Couture Roadshow in Australia!

Last year, I became friendly with Kerry Pietrobon who's the designer and owner of the Harlow Brand in Australia. Harlow quickly became a fast favourite of mine, and I've posted on the brand several times. I LOVE it. The quality is amazing and the brand pays attention to Curvy women and our bodies.

I am PROUD to say that Kerry is one of the people setting up the Curvy Couture Roadshow in Australia. This is an event that's aiming to give a platform to independent and emerging designers within the 14+ Arena. The Roadshow will be a place to showcase designs, whilst also being a PART of Melbourne Fashion Week. Ah. Amazing. 

There are loads of brands onboard and the aim is to let plus women know that there are loads of great options in the fashion world downunder. If you're in Oz - you should really, really try and get along. Tickets here.

I *bet* that if this goes successfully - it will become a yearly staple, which is amazing and wonderful!

For more information, head to the Curvy Couture Roadshow site now!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

You little Hound!

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So. Work starts again! Of course. In an effort for me to have a better work/life balance, I'm going ahead and attempting to blog again! Let's see how I go! I've had some beautiful time off, regrouped, seen some loved ones and here I am!

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Things have been good. Busy but good. This next show is a biggie, so I'm scrambling to get organised before things really kick off. This is one of the outfits I've worn to work in the last few weeks and was found at Fashion World. The top is light, sheer and oversized - it feels good on my body and has a type of "boxy" quality about it. You can see, because it's see-thru, I'm chosen to wear it with a cami. The top is Polyester, and does make me sweat a little - so despite being flowy - I will need to wash this pretty regularly if I want to wear it a lot.

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The skirt, I love. The skirt is super simple, but has quickly become a wardrobe staple. It says the fabric is "PU", but it really just wears like a quilted, stretchy cotton. The length hits just above my knee and it has an elastic waist. This skirt is banging and since getting it, I haven't stopped wearing it. I ADORE it.

I hope you are all great. At the end of last year, I took a bunch of photos in different outfits, but getting them online was a struggle. I'll try harder for 2014.