Haha, I was just reading these dark secrets and it's funny because I actually share two of them, so to those people, perhaps this confession of comfort. I mean, I'm female and my high powered libido is hardly a secret - you should wear it proudly, it can be empowering if you let it. What I'm less proud of is that once I convinced my best friend at the time that my non-existent boyfriend had killed himself... AND that it was her fault.
Plenty of concurrence on the no-shame bit. And same response to your other secret, how did you end up getting in to the dead non-existent boyfriend scenario?
Would you say your sex drive is higher than average? Do you think many people have done that? Did you tell any of your friends? Did you regret it immediately afterwards? Were the women a lot older than you? Did you sleep with them on the first meeting or after getting to know them? Sorry for all the questions- I'm just curious, because I thought I was the only one!
I’d say it was fairly high. And I know a fair few people who have used Craigslist/dating sites. It’s a bit of a generalisation but I’d say my queer friends tend to be more open when talking about sex stuff, and I know of more gays than straights who have met people off t’internets. I told a few of my friends. And no, I didn’t really regret it. Nothing bad came of it, nobody got hurt or anything. I reckon there are people out there who wouldn’t approve of what I did, but that’s their problem and not mine. The women were between my age and a couple of years older. And in both cases there was a sort of date first and a fair bit of email exchange before actually meeting them. I don’t mind the questions, although this has to be the most open I have been on Tumblr ever in terms of personal stuff…
You met 'a randomer from Craigslist for sex'? Seriously? Say more. I'm surprised I'm not the only one. If this is too personal a question, don't worry. How old were you? Was the randomer a man or woman?
I had a friend who met her girlfriend on Gumtree, so out of curiousity I put myself on there to see if I could meet someone. I was maybe 17 at the time. I met with three girls over the course of about a year and wound up sleeping with two of them. I hadn’t really intended it to be a casual sex thing but neither of them would have worked out in a proper relationship…so it ended up just being a casual sex thing. I’m not ashamed of it or anything. It’s just some thing I did once really :P
Okay, here's my secret (feel free to post and comment): I have a really high sex drive for a girl. I think it's slightly out of control, actually. I've been stripping for strangers on Omegle, meeting randomers from Craigslist for sex, watching lots of porn. Is this normal? Do you think women or men have higher sex drives?
Confession: I’ve done all of these things. In my opinion there is nowt wrong with having a high sex drive and neither is there anything wrong with having a low sex drive. And I don’t think there’s really any kinda correllation with gender identity and sex drive either…the whole girls don’t/shouldn’t want a lot of sex is just bollocks. Some do, some don’t, simples!
Hello. I was just catching up on your blog, and felt like messaging you. Feel free to reply privately or publish, I don't mind either. Firstly, your writing style is not 'horribly clunky' (assuming the bubbles post was the post you were referring to), I was reading in reverse order and when I came across 'writing style is horribly clunky' I literally thought 'what?! no it's not'. Secondly, how come you saw social workers in the hospital? Thirdly, I went to the doctors again (twice) and blood tests etc are fine and they have given in to my suggestion that most of my symptoms are in fact CFS, so looks like it's just that and not anything more serious. Hope you're okay. Thanks for being inspiring <3 xxx
I read stuff I write back to myself and it just seems really repetitive and kinda boring. Maybe it’s classical self-criticsim and thank you for saying nice things about it! The social workers were from either charities like CLIC Sargent or working at the hospital itself and they helped my family a lot with things like applying for disability support (ongoing struggle, they’re telling me to live off my student loan and screw the fact that that’s putting me into even more debt than I’m already gonna be in), and dealing with all the other things that you suddenly have to sort out when you drop out of uni due to illness. It’s a lot of stuff, we have a fat ringbinder full of doctors notes and correspondence with the uni, student finance, disability support, student accomodation…list goes on. Then there was another guy from CLIC Sargent who’s job was to make my time in hospital a bit less unpleasant. He brought me stuff to read and films to watch and generally checked in with me every time I visited to see if I was okay. On my last visit he had a whole stack of hoodies donated by Firetrap so I even got a free hoodie! Also there were nurses who specialised in being someone who could answer questions about the treatment and about coping with all the symptoms and getting on with life and stuff.
I’m really happy that a) your tests are clear and b) you’ve got a diagnosis. That has to be reassuring and hopefully it will help you with dealing with the symptoms and such :) xx
I had been at university for half a year when I started to think there might be something wrong with me. I went to the doctor and explained that I had had several kidney infections over the past few months and although they were easily treated with antibiotics, they kept coming back. I was also getting tired all the time. Too tired to ride my bike home from lectures, and I’d end up falling asleep when I returned home in the early afternoon.
The doctor examined me and told me I had a “lump”. “Probably an ovarian cyst” she said, and she referred me to a gynaecologist. The gynaecologist examined me and sent me for two ultrasounds and a blood test for ovarian cancer. The test came out normal but the scans were inconclusive, so I was booked in for an MRI. A couple of days afterwards I got a phone call asking me to come in to the hospital for some extra blood tests.
My mum travelled to my university to come to the consultation after the MRI. It was a beautiful warm spring day. We sat down in the gynaecologist’s office and the first thing she said to us was “I’m afraid it isn’t good news.”
The scans showed that I had a large mass on my right ovary. They also showed enlarged lymph nodes and some fluid built up around the mass. This, along with the extra blood tests, suggested that I had cancer. I broke down in the doctor’s office.
My mum phoned my dad, I phoned my girlfriend, and also rang my best friend who happened to be coming to stay with me at uni that evening. The first people I told in person were my housemates. One came to my room to show me a bubble wand he’d just bought. He said “I have bubbles!”, I said “I have cancer. But screw that, let’s go play with bubbles!”
In the weeks following I had a CT scan, further blood tests and a biopsy on my tumour to rule out the possibility that I had Lymphoma. I moved back to London to live with my parents. I had considered trying to continue with my studies and finish the year, but it became clear that was not a possibility because of the intensive chemotherapy I was going to need to fight this thing. The chemo was going to make my hair fall out, and I decided to hold a fundraiser where I got my hair cut into a mohawk, for Cancer Research UK. (this fundraiser ended up raising a grand total of £3000!).
I had my first consultation at the Royal Marsden hospital. The professor explained that I had dysgerminoma, a rare germ cell tumour of the ovary. (this was why the first blood test for normal ovarian cancer hadn’t worked) It was stage IV, meaning that it had already spread to another part of my body – in my case, lymph nodes in my neck and abdomen. I had a tumour the size of a brick on my right ovary and another, smaller, tumour on my left ovary. My Ca-125 level (a marker in my blood) was at 900, when a normal level is lower than 35.
The day after my consultation, we got a phone call from the hospital telling us to come down ASAP. I packed bags and drove across London on the back of my dad’s motorbike. I was put on a ward for lung, gynae and breast cancers, where most of the patients were over the age of 50. The nurses on this ward were fantastic and really helped me to get through the rough time I had in hospital. I saw so many different doctors, nurses and social workers in the first couple of days that I lost count. There was a second CT scan and a canula inserted into a vein in my arm that I would receive my first round of chemo through. I was going to have BEP chemotherapy (Bleomycin, Etoposide, cisPlatin), and because the drugs were very harmful to the kidneys I had to have 6 litres of water daily through my IV, plus antihistamine, diuretics and anti-sickness drugs.
It was a lot of drugs and each round of chemo I would have to come into hospital for 5 days to have drugs pumped into me 24/7, and come in for 2 outpatient doses as well. A round of chemo lasted 3 weeks, and the time I spent out of hospital was largely spent recovering. The chemotherapy reduced my blood counts making me weak and prone to infections. I was often taking 12 pills a day and occasionally over 20, and I had to have a lot of injections as well, which I was taught to give myself. I was also given an injection to put my ovaries to sleep, so my periods stopped and I started to get menopausal hot flushes. I ached all over, I had ringing in my ears, changes to my senses of taste and smell, mouth ulcers and my hair started falling out after the 1st cycle. For a while I wore scarves and hats when going out because I was worried about people staring at my bald head. Scarves get annoying after a while so now I mainly rejected the scarf in favour of rocking the bald look.
I had a total of 4 rounds of chemotherapy, which brought my tumour markers down to a normal level. The tumours shrunk to a fraction of the original size. After I finished chemo, I rested for a couple of months and then had a midline laparotomy (major surgery on my abdomen to remove tumours/scar tissue for analysis). I restarted my course at Uni shortly after, and then had a second surgery to remove some lymph nodes from my neck right after my january exams. Pathology from both surgeries showed no sign of cancer and I am now 100% cancer free as far as anyone can tell! My consultant has always been confident that a complete cure is possible, and I may even be able to have biological children in the future.
I couldn’t have fought this without the incredible support I have had from my family and my friends. My mum, her work colleagues and several of my friends ran the Race for Life for me. I have had days where I’ve cried and I have been angry and frustrated. I’ve been scared and I’ve seen my friends and my parents being afraid for me. However, I think that there are always options. The option to be miserable about everything and the option to stay cheerful no matter what life chucks at you, and the second option sounds to me like the better deal by far.
*Since I wrote this back in July I have had the surgery. It went fantastically well, and I got the news that the pathology revealed everything they found was dead! I’ve been given the green light to go back to uni and I’m very much on the mend. The mohawk event has raised £3000 for Cancer Research so far.
**When I had the surgery, it turned out the large tumour was on my right ovary (the one that was removed). It had collapsed and fallen onto the left side.
Further update: Still in remission in 2012, had 6 lymph nodes removed from my neck on 06/02/12, and my most recent tests were all clear!
I still had a great night. Went to Candy Bar, had a few drinks and DMC-ed whilst my friend chain smoked. She’s very recently and suddenly embraced her lesbianism, and has managed to get with more girls in the past 6 months than I have in the past 5 years or so. Power to her I guess?
I had quite a few people coming up to me being like “CAN I TOUCH YOUR HEAD?”…well, it is rather enticingly fuzzy. Side note, I’m not convinced my hair is growing back brown at all. It looks blonde!
After a couple hours in Candy we moved to G-A-Y, and met a very excited South American lass and her friends, and we danced silly dances until the club closed at the stupidly early time of midnight-ish, at which point I was utterly knackered and ready for home and bed because I am definitely an old lady now.
On November 6th 2007 we received notification that because Melissa was a student and suspending her studies due to ill health, she would not be entitled to any financial support. The reason was that she was still classed as a student and therefore deemed to have drawn on her student loan. It was an unfair system and the response to either give up her studies or use her student loan was nothing short of heartless.
It was at that point I began challenging the government to change the benefit law and allow students who suspend their studies due to long term illness financial support. Nearly three years later, on Monday 1st November, that change will be implemented and students who suspend their studies due to ill health will not automatically be assumed to have drawn on their student loans and therefore be entitled to claim financial support. It’s been a long battle and there are still a some fine tuning to be done, but the change in the law is a huge and major first step. Below a condensed version of our battle with the government…..
"Look at what we did Mel"
When Mel was diagnosed in August of 2007, she was preparing for her third year at Aston University. It was hoped initially that she could receive her treatment and still maintain her studies, but it soon became apparent this wasn’t going to be possible. Mel also explored the idea of trying to keep up with her studies online, this would mean she could stay at home and continue her course.
Eventually, after a month or so, she had to give in and accept that it wasn’t going to be possible to continue her studies for a while and with this in mind she decided to take a year out. There had been delays in Mel’s application for her student loan and as a result she hadn’t received it. Knowing she was going to have to take a year out, to recover from cancer she cancelled her application and on Mel’s behalf we applied for Income Support.
What followed was unbelievable, even by our own government’s standards. Mel wasn’t eligible for Income Support as she was still a student. We tried to explain that she was taking a year out to recover from cancer, but it didn’t matter. They couldn’t care less whether she was trekking across Asia or recovering from a life threatening disease, she was still classed as a student and therefore entitled to no financial support from the government. If she had been deaf, disabled, a single parent or a refugee, she would have qualified. We applied for Disablement Living Allowance, but that depends on how ill you are and takes three months to sort out. Incapacity Benefit was also refused. In one piece of correspondence they advised Mel to either give up her course or just claim her student loan. They haven’t a clue how detrimental giving up her course completely would have been for Mel, her goal was to return to University and continue a normal life. As for drawing on her student loan, as we explained to our MP, we were always under the impression that a student loan was to support study and not illness. Also, why should she pay, through no fault of her own, four years for a three year course? It is unfair.
I got our MP involved and after many emails between ourselves and the ministers in London they agreed the law was wrong and that it needed looking at. That is how things stood. We managed to get the law changed, but of course nothing is ever simple and before that could happen they had to make sure that no-one suffered by them changing a law that they admit is wrong. I have made suggestions which they have taken on board, but it has been a long fight … and one that continues. Incidentally, it was five months before Mel got any financial support from the government. Five months!!!!!! I have since had correspondence from other students who have had a longer wait. It is wrong!
I then heard from my MP and she stated that they were still looking at the deeming rules with a view to changing the rulings. This was something that needed sorting and through liaison with our MP and the Minister in London we’re on the right road. However, as I said earlier, nothing is ever easy and in the latest letter the minister for DWP who replaced Kitty Ussher (who resigned after being caught fiddling her expenses) said that in the current economic climate they were unable to find funds to implement the changes and therefore the deeming rules remain unchanged. So, I was left with the impression that we are being governed by a party who think it is perfectly acceptable to let a young person with cancer (or any long term illness) have no financial support for five months or more. They don’t think it unreasonable when someone has to apologise to friends for not being able to buy them Christmas presents because they have no financial support. We helped as much as we could, but with a petrol bill that escalated from £50 a month, to £50 every three days, plus other illness related expenses, it was as much as we could do to keep our own heads above water. On top of this it is about self respect. As a twenty year old, Melissa needed money for herself, she wasn’t asking for hundreds of pounds a week, just a few pounds to live on.
If you take three people from society, one is employed, one is unemployed and one a student. If all three get a long term illness, the employed person gets sick pay and the unemployed person gets benefits. Neither of them have to pay back a penny. This government thinks students should have to use their student loan to supplement their illness and then pay it back at a later date. Unfair? You bet it is and the fight continues to get a fair deal for students who fall long term ill. Message to the DWP. I will not go away!
The plan then was that they would look at the financial side of things in last year’s pre-budget report. This did nothing. It didn’t happen. Following yet another false promise, my MP Janet Dean applied for an adjournment debate on the issue at the House of Commons. This happened on Tuesday January 12th, Janet Dean gave a speech in the House of Commons on what she described as an “immoral” situation, James Plaskitt MP added his comments, agreeing with all that Janet had said and this was responded to by the current DWP Minister Helen Goodman MP. She agreed the situation was wrong and needed addressing but also said that when the situation was rectified, it needed to be done properly. Both Janet and James said they would like it sorted by the time Parliament ends in May. I have written to David Cameron asking that if it isn’t sorted, his party continue the fight. I am awaiting his reply.
In any long term illnesses, there are associated costs and financial hardship is a real possibility. Were it not for grants from organisations such as CLIC Sargent, MacMillan and indeed our own hospital, we would have come close to going under. All this at a time when our eldest daughter was dying from cancer. I shall be backing MacMillan’s campaign to scrap hospital parking charges. There should be NO hospital parking charges for carers of long term ill patients. Forms should be made EASY to fill in and not consist of reams and reams of pointless questions. A SIMPLE letter from a GP or consultant should suffice. When we were applying for DLA for Mel there were questions such as “How far can you walk”. Some days Mel could walk round to the shop, other days she couldn’t walk up the stairs. If I could give anyone one piece of advice, it is to put the worst case scenario! Ideally, these sort of stupid questions should disappear, but until they do, just put the worst case scenario.
On Saturday 27th March I received a letter from Janet Dean MP to say that the law was being changed and as from October 2010 students with long term illnesses who take time out of their studies to recover will be entitled to financial support from the government. Victory. We took on the big guys and managed to convince them the current system was wrong and needed changing and after a two and a half year battle, it’s going to happen. There are finer details to be sorted out, the new coalition government should be sorting this out as we speak. I appreciate these things can’t just be implemented overnight, but it’s going to happen and we’ve made a real difference for Mel and for any students who sadly find themselves in a similar situation.
On November 1st 2010, nearly three years after our battle began, the new ruling will fall into place. It will mean that any student with a long term illness will not be assumed to have drawn on their student loan, and therefore be entitled to ESA as well as DLA. Prior to this, it was assumed that all students had drawn on their student loan, but that is no longer the case. We’ve taken on the government and we’ve got a law changed. It wasn’t easy, there were times I felt like giving up. There are still one or two points I want clarifying but the main obstacle has been removed. All I can say is….. “Look at what we did Mel”
There are lots of shouts of “it gets better”, and “stay strong”, and “we love you”. But when I put myself back in time to when I was being bullied— none of those things would have helped me.
Yes, absolutely— it does get better! But when you are being physically and psychologically tortured, it is difficult to remove yourself from the pressingness of the moment at hand!
Here’s how I dealt with bullying: I cried, I hated myself, I hated my life. I didn’t deal with it; I survived it, but I never dealt with it. So here are two tips from someone with lots of experience— one: it’s not about you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s about the assholes doing it to you. And, two: your job is not to deal with it. Your job is to survive it, which you can do, because it will end. And then, yes, it will get better.
I completely forgot to provide y’all with an update.
I went to a consultation with a surgeon last Monday and found out a little more about how it’s all going to go. The good news is the guy running the show with my surgery is apparently brilliant and likely to do a good job. Also, he works in central London so I’ll be closer to friends and family when I get all surgeried. There’s also a pretty good chance that we’ll still be able to do the family holiday because the surgery is going to happen around September time.
I also learnt that it’s going to be a pretty major surgery. They’re going to cut me open as high up as my belly button and leave a scar that’s something like 15cm long or so. The idea is so they can get a really good look around to see if they can find anything the scans haven’t picked up. Then take out as much scar tissue as possible while leaving me with at least one ovary if possible. The scar tissue will then get biopsied and the result of that will determine if I am to have further surgery to the lymph nodes in my neck. Then I’ll go into ICU (half reassuring, half terrifying) for a day or so.
It’ll take 6 weeks or so to recover, and I’m probably looking at restarting uni a little bit the worse for wear. I’ll probably move all my stuff to Notts and get settled in before I go for surgery so I won’t have to worry about that when I’m recovering.
That’s all the information I’ve got so far, we’re expecting a phone call from the surgeon’s assistant tomorrow confirming a meeting with him in early August. Meanwhile I’m still slowly recovering from chemo, getting better all the time. I’ve got loads more energy but I definitely tire out quite easily. I’m still getting hot flushes but the tinnitus is gradually getting better and the taste changes are all but gone. Hair is very slowly making an appearance but I’ve just got a mix of 5 o’ clock shadow and fuzzy new hairs. Still a long way off proper hair, but I am a long way past caring about wandering around bald in public!
I’ve been staying there for the last week with some of my favourite people. About 11 of us crammed into a little house right near the beach, and we’ve spent the last week having a lovely and laid back holiday. I really needed a break and this was just perfect.
There was a lot of rain. There was a lot of going to the beach regardless of the fact that it was cold and raining. There was even a bucket of frosty beers at one point, to be enjoyed whilst sitting on the rain-sprayed beach.
We also went to see Harry Potter for a second time, and went on a Mystery Road Trip where we got lost, passed Butlins 3 times and ended up eating doughnuts in Bognor Regis and trying to skip stones in the sea.
I also managed to cook shepherd’s pie and chili for everyone, from scratch, in the house’s tiny kitchen. And we sat around every evening until the small hours drinking beers and playing Articulate, dice, and card games.
Friday finally brought good weather. I swam in the sea all morning, and in the evening we got a fish and chips supper which we ate on the beach as the sun was setting and the tide was out. Then we walked for miles along the beach into the sunset, and walked back as the stars came out.
At the end of the walk we sat at the top of the beach, throwing stones hard against the beach to make sparks. Then we lay back and stargazed. It was just perfect.