Year in Review

Thursday, December 31, 2009

This past year was a toughie. I continued my Taxotere treatments up until October. There were some very dark days and nights where I seriously considered stopping treatment all together. I was so serious about quitting; I even spoke with my psychologist about it. I just wanted to tell someone that this really sucked and I didn’t know if I was strong enough to continue. I was quite exhausted all the time and I used to sit most of the day and play on the computer and blog. Nothing else inspired me ... not even food. After that meeting I decided to just focus on completing one cycle at a time and that`s what I did.

In April, I spent a few days in the hospital due to my central line catheter infection. This was located on my right side of my chest. After the catheter was removed, I had a PICC line inserted to infuse the Taxotere. This caused a skin irritation... turns out I was allergic to chlorhexidine which is used to clean area.

In about June I noticed swelling in my right arm. It turned out to be lymphedema. Likely the infection from the catheter caused it. My right side is also my mastectomy side.

In October, a bone scan showed no evidence of disease in my bones; however a CT scan showed tumours on my liver had grown and there were more lesions. The Taxotere was no longer working and I needed to change chemotherapy to Xeloda pills. This meant the PICC line came out, it meant fewer trips to the clinic and best of all more gentle side effects. Even with liver issues, deep down I was thrilled because I was so sick of the side effects from the Taxotere and the steroids. I was just so glad to be changing treatments.

After a couple of months, I felt like getting out and doing a few more things but my body was stiff and sore from just sitting around for a year. I decided to enlist the help of a chiropractor who stretched out some of those muscles. This along with the active release therapy and the massaging the edema out of my legs has helped me so much to get around.

I am feeling more optimistic and alive. My body is recovering nicely ... I can now stand longer and walk further. It’s been quit the year. I’m really hoping improvements continue into 2010.

Back Home Safe And Sound

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We arrived home safe and sound after being away for a week visiting family in the foothills of beautiful Southern Alberta. It’s so nice to just look out the dining room window and see the mountains ... pretty cool. The roads were great and the scenery magnificent.

As we were all setting in for the 4 hour trip back, Daisy our dog sat on my lap. Then it must have been time for a nap ... she buried her head and front legs into my down filled vest ... her head right up into my shoulder. How cute is that. I think that all the excitement from the past week really had her tired. That only lasted a short time as she got too hot and moved onto her blanket in the back seat. She sure does travel well.

Today we are just catching on mail and stuff.

Bonus Week Away From Xeloda

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Normally I would be starting a new cycle of Xeloda but because of the holidays, the clinic pushed some of us back 7 days, so no Xeloda this week. That makes me a happy camper because I have an extra week to recover and get stronger. I notice my coughing is down a bit these last couple of days and my nose isn’t running like a tap anymore either. Everything is settling down nicely.

I’ve been extremely lucky too because D had a really bad cold just before Christmas. You should have seen me ... don’t touch this, don’t touch that and don’t even think about touching my laptop. Wash your hands I’d bark out at him. We have hand sanitizer jugs everywhere. I guess it all worked because D is over his cold and I’m symptom free. I’m oh so glad about that.

Enjoying the Moment

Monday, December 28, 2009

I started the day with an excellent sleep. Slept right through last night ... what a difference that makes. So today I feel like I’ve got energy to spare.

Yesterday afternoon, we went for a drive out in the country and 3 dear crossed the road right in front of us... so beautiful.

Other than that, we’re just relaxing and enjoying the moment.

Nap Happy

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just got up from an afternoon nap ... something I seem to have gotten in the habit of doing during this holiday season. I think it has something to do with all the good food and conversation we’ve all enjoyed. This really tires a girl out. The coffee is always on and oh so many desserts. Yummy!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Celine Dion - Don't Save It All For Christmas Day

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mr Bean Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2009

Oh Holy Night - Celine Dion

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spirit Jump T-Shirts....Finally!

Introducing the first ever Spirit Jump T Shirt!

Be the "First One On Your Block" to get the brand new Spirit Jump T Shirt designed by Lisa from Live Life Solid.

Starting today EVERY $25 donation to Meaghan's Fruitcake will get you one of these beautiful shirts! 

Donate $100 through the holiday and get a 5th SHIRT FREE! Keep them for yourself, give to your friends or family members or use as a Spirit Jump for someone in need!

Send an email to after making your donation with your address and your size requests (SM-XXL while supplies last).

Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yesterday I had coffee with C, from our Second Cup coffee group. We chatted for three hours ... wow. We hadn’t met in about 3 weeks so we needed extra time to catch up on things. Anyways, we got out of the coffee shop and everything looked so nice all covered in snow. Real Christmasy. We’ve had tons of the white stuff fall here lately which makes for very pretty scenery.

With Christmas in a couple of days, I’ll probably be posting videos only instead of blogging. I’m going to spend time enjoying family, the festive season and just relaxing.

Happy Holidays!

Donate To Spirit Jump & Actor Tony Besson Will Volunteer At Women & Children Center

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We were delighted when actor Tony Besson told us he wanted to help Spirit Jump raise donations. Tony has appeared in numerous television shows including, The OC, Entourage, NCIS, Nip/Tuck, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.  Tony has been following Spirit Jump on Twitter and Facebook for the last couple of weeks and was moved by our mission: to lift the spirits of men, women and children battling cancer.  Last week Tony sent Spirit Jump an email offering to help us raise donations during our Holiday Regift The Fruitcake Fundraiser.

Tony created his virtual fruitcake and set a goal to raise $5,000 for Spirit Jump.  Every $40 raised will get a gift package into the hands of someone battling cancer.  To top it all off Tony is giving you a challenge: for every $500 donated to his virtual fruitcake Tony will volunteer 2 days at a local women and children's homeless shelter.  What an amazing guy!

Guest Blogger: Joe Black

Saturday was a lovely day.

Minus the constant fear outside of the venue of slipping on ice and meeting a frozen end. Inside the venue though, was just as cold as outside. I mean, Ocean Rooms, please.... Heating?!

The hearts were warm to join together and raise money for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer in Brighton. All the performers banded together, to hold an amazing show and show us what they had to offer, freezing cold or not. I wore gloves and many layers during the performance, because I'm a sensible chap like that. Mark Farley was such a pleasant man, and made me feel completely welcome, so thank you Mark and thank you everyone who took time out to help out this fantastic cause.

However, the down side for me was the outrageously disrespectful owner of the Ocean Rooms, Ben Gill, who was quite obviously on something(a fact supported by his own members of staff at the venue). He interrupted performance and during the set by MC Elemental, attempting to take the microphone off of him and storming the stage. He could not be ejected, as he was the owner of the venue but he was rude, disruptive and downright irritating. Afterwards, he decided to approach me to tell me he liked my stuff while slurring in my face, inappropriately touching me and generally getting far too close for comfort.

I can honestly say, as anti diva-ish as i am, if I find myself at the Ocean Rooms again, I will not be taking part, if that disgrace is about in full force on the venue floor.

Joe Black is the neo-vaudevillian, real life Disney villain. A gin-addled courtesan, the anti-christ of cabaret and the one and only waltzing cynic... Eccentric to international stages, Joe Black takes to shows in an almost cartoon-esque musical assault, sweeping the audience through deathly showtunes, stomping polkas and heart wrenching ballads. He recently headlined the Burlesque Against Breast Cancer Twisted Christmas Cabaret night in Brighton.

Vivid Soda and Beyond

Wow, what a crazy weekend. From skidding in my car on the ice in Aylesbury to meeting a inspirational lady.

Despite the heavy snowfall and dodgy driving conditions, I journeyed to Aylesbury through work and see a close friend. The work was ok. Less said the better, to be honest. Admittedly, most of my trip was spent drinking Champagne Sangria and rehearsing my newest act to debut at Vivid Soda on the Sunday. To say I was bricking it would be an understatement. I was however, put at easy after seeing the new custom corset design and created exclusively for me by Lynn of Vintage Lynndy Loo. It a creation to behold. With the added splendour of my beautiful star encrusted bustle and panties from Lucy at Burldoir, I knew the act would be beautiful visually even if anything went wrong.

Vivid Soda is a show I have done a few times and have always performed to a great crowd and this night was no different. Each performer bought something new and exciting: Banbury Cross was her ever beautiful self performing a near nude fan dance and her champagne striptease; there was my beautiful bellydancer Luli Blue who performed a belly dance and a clock work doll act (FABULOUS!); there was the stunning Fifi Fatale who wowed the crowd with both routines: a strip tease and a beautiful art deco inspired routine; Warren Speed entertained as both Charlie Chaplin and then in a double act with the gorgeous, stunning Kiki Kaboom to perform a chav act to end all shows! It bought the house down!

Plus a local lady making her debut! She went down very well amongst the crowd. I have to admit I forgot her full name but it does translate as Madam Naughty. Tee hee! Oh and there was me!

Whilst the show was fabulous to say the least and James Thorpe captured some fantastic images of us all, it was two particular audience members who stole my heart for the night. I wont spill names due to reasons that will become clear. Both were clearly in love with one another but it wasn't that that made my heart break.

The woman informed me she had breast cancer. I was shell shocked to say the least I mean she looked healthy and vibrant (ok so not all people are sick, pale and withering but she seemed genuinely chuffed with life), she was smiling as she FINALLY gets to have massive breasts, which were her words!

She was excited that after the surgery she could have implants. Her sunny outlook on the whole situation made me realise that this disease isn't all doom and gloom and has some positive outcomes, for her at least. Her husband seemed immensely proud of her. I nearly cried like a soppy bugger, especially when I learnt he was off to Afghanistan soon. So instead of snotting everywhere, we danced and posed for photos together.

A truly fantastic weekend of all sorts of reasons.

Khandie Khisses performed for BABC recently at the Dirty Dicks show. You can find all of her lovely brilliance at

Photo by Derek Bremner for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer

Funky Self-Exam Video

This is a funky seasonal video 3:30 mins, about monthly breast self-exams ...

A Bit More Coughing

Monday, December 21, 2009

The last couple of days I’ve really been focusing on having my legs up on cushions... above my heart ... for hours at a time ... and I can honestly say I notice my feet are less swollen. I can see most of the veins in my feet and that’s great. The only problem is that that I have a bit of crackling in my lungs and I’m coughing a bit more than usual.

Today I saw my chiropractor and I asked him if the fluid from my legs and feet was just moving to my lungs and he said it’s possible but not likely. He thinks the chemo is creating the havoc in my body and that is responsible for the extra coughing. I’ve noticed that my coughing goes up and down depending where I am in the cycle. So the Chiro said ... for today, we’ll skip the leg massage.

Anyways, today is the last day for this round of Xeloda and I have a two week break. I’m so looking fwd to be off that daily pill regimen for Christmas I can just enjoy the holidays. My thoughts are with all those who are not so fortunate and will be struggling with chemo and its side effects thru this holiday season.

Do They Know It's Christmas Time

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chiropractor Appointment #4

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yesterday I had by fourth chiropractor appointment. He says things are moving along nicely and I agree. To strengthen my arms and hands, he wants me to start carrying around cans of soup around the house. That I can do.

I’ve been thinking about putting together some sort of exercise program but I’ve been waiting to start because I find I have sore muscles from just my increased everyday activities. As I walk more, my leg muscles are sorer ... the more I do my arm stretches, my arm muscles are sorer. It feels like I’ve gone to the gym the day before. I’m going to do all this slowly and carefully.

Other than that, I’m doing really well.

Sears Coffee Group Christmas Party

Friday, December 18, 2009

In 2001, a bunch of us ladies met at a Breast Cancer Support group. We’ve been meeting every two weeks for coffee for nine years. We call it the Sears group because we used to meet at the Sears cafeteria.

Last night we had our annual Christmas get-together at J’s home. All six of the ladies are breast cancer survivors and were there and of course Ari, our mascot, who was all decked out in his Christmas attire. He sure is a handsome fella ... don’t you think?

We all brought a little something for the meal but to be honest we all waited anxiously for the ‘piest de resistance’ which is Erm’s dessert. Each year she does an amazing dessert and this year was no exception. She made a Yule Log ... oh so delicious. After stuffing ourselves, we moved to the living room to open the gifts we exchanged. I gotta tell ya ... the girls sure are creative in their giving.

What a pleasure it is to be a part of this great group of gals.

Fat Calves

Thursday, December 17, 2009

“Do these couch cushions make my calves look fat?”... I asked D the other day … long silence. I figure we may as well make fun of my fat calves. Yesterday and today, I’ve spent time with my legs elevated and resting on couch cushions and they look fat. It’s hard to say if keeping them up there is making a difference but I’m going to continue doing it and hopefully with time, this will help the fluid will drain out.

Last night I went out with some girl friends I used to work with. It is such a pleasure to go out with these gals and I really appreciate them taking the time to go out with me. I know how busy this time of year is when you are working. It didn’t take long for me to realize ... I was such a chatter box. I can be a bit of a talker and now that I’m feeling better ... that is coming out in me.

The restaurant is a great steak place which was right up my alley because due to my poor appetite I haven’t had steak in about a year but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about having one. So that worked out just great.

Chiropractor Appointment #3

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I had my third appointment with my chiro. First thing I mentioned to him is that I thought I was losing the battle with the edema. He said all we can keep doing it the ‘right stuff’ and see where it goes. I told him D was massaging my calves and that he always heated my calves up with a heating pad before doing the massage. The chiropractor said that he preferred to massage the legs cold because heat brings more blood into the area and that isn’t a good thing when you are trying to force fluid out. Makes sense to me ... no more heating of the legs before massaging and one less thing to be concerned about.

As he was working on my calves ... he said, when you are massaging, you should think of it as pushing the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. I’ll take that to the bank.

I asked him about support socks/hosiery and he didn’t think they would be helpful in my case ... no support hose for me and one less thing to be concerned about.

I usually lay on my stomach so that he can work on my back and legs. After my first treatment, I had to slide off of the table and then down to my knees on the floor and pull myself up with my arms. Well yesterday, I was much more limber and was able to manoeuvre off of the table and stand up. We both felt good about that one.

Xeloda – Cycle 3 Week 2

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Starting to experience more of the side effects associated with Xeloda. My fingers tips are becoming a bit more sensitive, a bit shiny so they have some swelling and they are once again slightly darkened. In the first two weeks on Xeloda, the toxins seem to build up and then on the third week off, they dissipate.

This same drill applies to the edema in my feet and legs as the amount of fluid has also increased... even with my twice daily massages. It’s a little frustrating but I’m not giving up on the pampering.

I’m still looking for other solutions and I’m going to investigate support socks/hose. D brought couch cushions up from the down stairs and stacked them in a pile on the upstairs couch. So instead of sitting on the couch, I’m lying down and keep my feet elevated up on the cushions. Hopefully that will allow for more drainage.

In comparison to Taxotere, the Xeloda side effects seem piddly.

Brunch on a Cold Day

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yesterday we went out for a Sunday brunch smorg with our friends B and D. We got to the restaurant and were greeted by the host who said they were having heating issues. Half of the restaurant had no heat. Thank goodness the seating area was nice and warm but where the food was all laid out, was cold. The burners under the food still kept the food hot and everyone just made the best of it.

We had a great time chatting and eating. B and D follow my blog so they are aware of what`s going on but it`s always nice to get together to talk about things a bit more intimately. Both B and D have been so supportive of me. For example, I haven`t even written my final exam at college and B and D have already given me a graduation gift ... a pretty necklace and earrings and an angel pin with a funny Snoopy card saying I Did It! What great friends.

My Legs Are Getting Stronger

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yesterday we went to Walmart to pick up a few things. D said you better take the Zuca bag with wheels and I said, “No I think I will try going without it.” I knew where the chairs were and so if I got too tired, I’d rest. Well would you believe it, we shopped for about 45 minutes and I didn’t sit down once. I had a shopping cart that I leaned on but you know I felt really good, even today.

I’m very excited to say that last night I stood and washed the dishes. This is quite an accomplishment because just a couple of weeks earlier I wouldn’t have been able to stand that long. Our new dishwasher has connection issues... therefore the washing by hand.

I’m still doing stretches on my calves and legs ... and D and I massage my calves morning and night trying to get the edema out. Things are progressing nicely.

Chemo Nails

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I thought I’d give you an update on my Taxotere nails. I’ve included a picture of my nails today and you can see how my nails were back in June here.

They are definitely improving.

Chiropractor Appointment #2

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today I had my second visit with the Chiropractor. He said he was going to be a bit harder on me today. He dug in deeper and we stretched those sore achy muscles. I knew it might hurt a bit more now but in the end, I’d be much happier for it. He asked if I could recruit D into massaging the edema out of my calves ... just to get things moving a bit faster. I said ... no problemo.

Last night as I was lying in bed, I massaged my calves trying to move the edema out of my feet. I said to D, feel this calf ... it was hard as a rock. I said I’ll be asking the chiro to spend some extra time on that one. Thanks to the treatments, the other leg muscles were much softer and flexible.

I can honestly say I feel a difference in my body ... I’m feeling more flexible and I can walk with more ease.

Bacchus By Any Other Name

It is currently nearing on 2am as I appear to have out-slept myself. So I thought I'd tell a little tale about this month so far.

Well the first bit of big news is that I've started working on another act. I'm quite focused on environmental awareness and so this new act will be a balloon pop tribute to our Honey Bees. What else could I call it but The Honeypot (Plight of the Honeybee). If there's one thing burlesque allows me, if not demands of me, it is certainly the freedom to come up with the cheesiest names I can. A balloon pop is one of the traditional burlesque acts and as of yet I've not had one because....well, because I HATE popping balloons!

Well actually, I don't hate popping balloons I just hate when they pop unexpectedly. I was the kid that wouldn't join in the balloon popping game at my school friends parties. You know the one where everyone has to hold a balloon between their knees and try to pop everyone elses balloon while keeping yours safe? Creating this should be an interesting process and may possibly see my blood pressure skyrocket.

Next thing for this month was Hula Hooping. I'm currently attempting to collect circus skills like some people collect stamps. Speaking of which does anyone actually collect stamps anymore?

Anyway, as I often say 'I'm proud of my curves' when I really mean to say 'I hate sit-ups and I don't give a damn what you think', I've discovered the perfect antidote to my anti-exercise mentality will definitely be Hula Hooping. If one of those babies isn't in my Christmas stocking this year then I am throwing my toys out of the pram.

I have to say though, that I've been wanting to do a Hula Hooping act ever since I saw a duo at the London Burlesque Festival Newcomers earlier this year. H-O-T. I can't even remember the name of their act but it was a travesty that they didn't win anything.

Finally we have this Friday. I've been planning a trip to Vivienne of Holloway ever since my brothers sent me a gift voucher for my birthday to try on the cutest dress I'd ever seen. I roped Bea Devile into coming along with me (I didn't need to try too hard) as it's always more fun with two. I came away with a dress, and a pair of fabulous high waist denims AND one of their halter tops. If Bea hadn't rushed me out of there to get to the Nikita Sablier sale, I may have maxed my credit card out.

Bea had discovered a wonderful covered arcade near Carnaby St which has no less than 6 vintage stores and Something Hells, the vintage hairdressers of Miss Betty & Mr Ducktail. The inside of the arcade has a courtyard which feel like it's outdoors but is fully covered and currently bedecked in pretty fairy lights. Much nicer than some of the nasty (there's no other word for it) Christmas displays already up all over the place.

Oh but we had run out of time to look at all of the shops so we had already planned our next visit for December as we had tea and cake at Candy Cakes to get our energy back before our respective journeys. Candy Cakes have the most incredible looking muffins. Brightly coloured icing and topped enormous marshmallow and jelly shapes, they really do look the part in their little turquoise giftboxes.

Unfortunately they were a bit sickly sweet for my tastes but very cute looking nonetheless and kept me going for the next few hours of London traffic hell. In fact, I was lucky to arrive at Nick Von Fiction's place with enough time to down a half glass of red wine before we jumped in a cab to the venue.

We had been planning on trying out some vintage style photographs in Die Freche Muse venue for a while. Unfortunately, my issues with the traffic left us limited time but with the time we had Nick worked wonders. He'll try to tell you otherwise but he really is a bit of a clever clogs with his lighting.

I managed one costume change before the doors opened for Die Freche Muse and some of the results of our shoot should be up on the website before long.

Throughout the shoot, one of the other burlesque performers for the evening, Laurie Hagen was waiting downstairs. Laurie has one of those incredibly expressive 1920s faces and as I saw later in the night her act was just gorgeous.

Once the doors had opened, I took my things upstairs to the dressing room where the house cat was on hand to inspect all our things. At one poin,t as Laurie and I were getting ready, he had us in stitches as he crawled under a sheet and was just swiping with one paw at Laurie's feet. Once he realised we were no longer playing, he decided to throw himself at the 30 cm space between us which resulted in us both squealing like little girls and him nearly clearing the bed.

Often at these events a lot of the night is spent upstairs or backstage if you will, chatting with other performers and friends of the promoters. I had the opportunity to chat with Millicent Binks who looks almost exactly like a china doll, so delicate! And briefly met Sumi Sumatra although I unfortunately didn't get to see her act.

I did discover that we had the same pants on however and I wonder if the audience thought there had been a bit of costume sharing going on backstage.

As ever with Die Freche Muse, I didn't get back home until after sun up. The Baron von Sanderson was late to this party though as he'd been filming for Come Dine With Me. I'm dying to know when his episode airs!

You might have noticed the title of this blog, Bacchus by any other name. A tribute really to a man who reminds me ever so much of a cross between Bacchus, or Dionysus in other mythology, and a very naughty little boy. Although I suppose Bacchus was just a very naughty little boy really. Whether he's taking everyone over to the bar for another champagne or swooping a lovely lass up for a dance, he is ever the otherworldly host. So Baron, well done for another wonderful Freche Muse!

Well that's enough writing for tonight. BW is tugging at the sleeve of my dressing gown to come watch a film before bed. Sometimes he reminds me quite a lot of a cat. If you've ever owned one you'll know how much they like to get in between you and the computer screen with a 'What is this strange thing you're giving far too much attention to? Here, let me remedy that' kind of look as they plonk themselves on the keyboard.

Night all...x Bella

UD now on the iPhone

For those iPhone users, you can get an app for your phone with the book on it!

How cool is that?

Chiropractor Appointment

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My oncologist said it would be OK to see a chiropractor to help loosen up some of my muscles. She also said that even tho there is no evidence of cancer in my bones, I shouldn’t have any bone manipulation. That’s ok because I only want to see him for the active release techniques that he does.

So when the chiropractor first came in, I said to him, “I’m a bit of a mess and need your help.” We talked a bit about my history with cancer and that I was looking for help with tightness in my calves and feet and in my chest area. So after examining me, he said, “I have very strong computing muscles.” ... imagine that! Then he had me lay down on my stomach and hooked me up to this machine that vibrated my muscles in two key areas ... my calves and just behind my shoulders. That ran for about 10 minutes and was quite stimulating. After that, he stretched some muscles in these areas.

He then suggested I try at home to massage the edema out of my calves. I am to put my fingers around my ankles and massage upwards. I told him about the stretches I recently started doing and he said that they were perfect. He gave me two other simple exercises to do as well.

At the end of the session, he said I could be doing most of this at home and I said to him ... “I know but sometimes I just need a bit of support to get going.” He said, “Don’t we all?” I like this guy.

Pink Glove Dance Video

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Introducing... Khandie Khisses

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recently, I had a bit of a marathon mini tour of England.

Firstly I went from London to Preston, then Preston to Northampton, then Northampton to Exeter, then Exeter to Torquay, Torquay to Plymouth and finally Plymouth to London and then home.

MANIC. National Rail got practically all the way which was lovely to be able to snooze on the train between performances. No smelly BO infested person sat next to me either which was lovely though mildly/oddly disappointing. Have had this been a regular occurrence for me whenever I go by train I felt somehow ripped off for my ticket when I didn’t get one.

So one highlight for me was performing for the legendary Alan Moore (of V for Vendetta and Watchmen amongst others fame.). He is launching a new magazine called Dodgem Logic. GO BUY A COPY! Its awesome!!!!

I was rather star struck by it all. Darkteaser, Luli Blue, Nicole A Lure and myself tasselled and twirled our ways through the shows. It was lovely to be back with old friends and enjoy ourselves. Special mention to James and Anna Thorpe, Tamsyn Payne and Joe Brown for looking after us all. By the way Nicole is behind the Hourglass photographic company. A lovely present for any lady!

Exeter was another personal highlight as I got to see the multi-talented couple The Bells AKA Kinky and Quirky Burlesque N Boogie. Mark and Sarah have managed to create one hell of a burlesque night out in a town that had never seen burlesque before. People come from all over to watch their shows. I spoke to people from Canterbury and Cardiff who had come to see the show. I performed along side the rather ravishing Soup De Jour (her cat act is amazingly fabulous) and the ever magnetic Equador the Wizard (GO SEE THIS MAN PERFORM!) He bought the house down with his final act and I HIGHLY recommend you go see him! Mark Bell is also a talented artist. His work is very highly admired and so much so I am looking to purchase a painting myself.

As Kinky and Quirky is based in my home town I often feel odd coming back but Mark and Sarah make you feel so welcome its fantastic to be there. I adore performing at their shows and cant wait to go back.

Plymouth saw me staying in a cold but still pleasant enough hotel as I was performing at Annabels. Admittedly I was nervous as I had never performed there before but needn't have bothered to be.

A cracking band (the Faux Fur Full) was playing some pretty rocking tunes very Big Voodoo Daddies sounding though they covered a lot of similar band songs. Though there was no specific stage to perform on Annabel (owner and name sake) managed to clear a space in front of the band for myself and two new performers (Midnight Caller and Midnight Iris). The crowd were lovely even though some were rather drunk. I loved all the gold mirrors and chequered flooring. Andy who helped to run the club was so cute! He danced backstage with us girls...proper snake hips going on. Annabel was nice too. She runs a tight ship which was good to see.

Anyway, before long I was back in London and in Nikita Sablier dancing in her shop window to celebrate her one year anniversary of the shop opening!

Khandie Khisses performed for BABC recently at the Dirty Dicks show. You can find all of her lovely brilliance at

Photo by Derek Bremner for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer

Introducing… Beulah Bell

Well I have had the craziest few months, from being and unemployed to having 2 fantastic jobs.

I had a little break in Oct/Nov form the Burlesque stuff to start a new office job - something's gotta pay the bills you know! And I started training at Simon Drake's ~ House of Magicians Assistant.

OMG.....It has always been a secret dream of mine so I have been on cloud nine, although its been quite demanding working full time and preparing for the magic shows I have enjoyed every minute of it.

And I had my first show on Friday 4th December which was amazing I feel so honoured to work for such an amazing Magician and with the most professional and wonderful team at the HoM.

We have Public shows their on the 10th, 16th & 17th December if you would like to see the best magic show in London!

I have had 2 Amazing shoots with the legend Terry Mendoza at The Retro Photo Studio the first produced some beautiful Cheese Cake images for my personal promotion and the second was for the Rock-Billy clothing company ~ Collectif for their 2010 Calendar where I will be Miss March and 50% Miss June with the stunning Abby Bambilabomba Shields.

I am just getting the final airbrushed copies coming through of my first shoot now as Terry has been so busy so I will post them as I get them. I had such great results I will be going back for another shoot in 2010.

My next public Burlesque show is on the 19th December at The Christmas Carnival @ Bar Form in Enfield Town, its free entry and there will be lots of fun festive things happening over the weekend there. I will be performing my Santa Baby act at around 8.30pm so get down early.

I have also been preparing my act for Roxy Rendezvous 'Alice in Wonderland' event that's in Southampton in February, I playing the Caterpillar with a spectacular transformation...not to be missed. Tickets can only be purchased from Roxy direct. To book your tickets, email: or telephone 07815 967791.

Well I think that's it, other than a massive thank you to all my close friends & James who have been so supportive and encouraging and have help me out in lots of different ways I owe ya big time and I love you all to bits!

Beulah Bell has been one of BABC's most enthusiastic and dedicated performers. She first performed for us in Soho when we took over the Book Club Boutique at our Spring Fling, where she adapted her act with a special tribute to breast cancer awareness. For more info, visit:

Jury Duty

Yesterday I received a juror summons in the mail. I’m going to request to be excused because I’m on active cancer treatment. I just don’t think my mind or body has the stamina to serve on a jury. Would you believe the only other time I was summoned was in 2001 and guess what ... I was on active treatment for cancer then too. I would love to experience being a juror and deciding a case but it looks like luck is against me once again.

Some of my favourite shows have been Judge Judy, Joe Brown, Wapner and all the other judges on People’s Court. I’ve been watching these in the anticipation that one day I could put all that training to use ... like being on a jury ... Not!

Blood Work and Oncologist

Monday, December 7, 2009

My visit with the onc went really well today. Results from the blood work shows that my liver is stable. I showed her my fingers and she didn’t seem too concerned with them. She was more concerned with diarrhea ... whether or not I had experienced any. I said I only had it one day in the last cycle and I figure it was from a potato salad I had ... actually the cream in the potato salad. I’ve since cut out all dairy products and I have not experienced any problems. I told her that my energy level is increasing every day. She said that is a really good sign.

My next cycle will start in four weeks instead of three because of the way the stat holidays fall during Christmas. The doctor also mentioned that I will be booked for a CT scan after the fourth cycle to see how well the Xeloda is working ... so that should be somewhere at the end of January.

All in all, it looks like I am ending the year on a real positive note.

Sensitive Fingers

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I had this picture taken of my hands over a week ago. You can see the tips of the fingers are a bit darkened, as though I’d been working in the garden. They are also a bit dry looking and have become sensitive to pressure, heat and cold. The fingers themselves feel numb; they feel tight and a bit stiff too. The ends of my fingers kind of feel like I have a layer of on wax them.

This past Friday, I was munching on a bowl of cut fruit and when I went to pick a grape with my fork. I felt the real pressure of the fork on my fingers. It’s hard to describe it except that when I pressed down on the fork, if felt so tender and sore. Today when I was making breakfast, the handle of the frying pan felt hotter than normal and I had to use a pot holder... something I normally wouldn’t have. When opening the flip top lid on the ketchup bottle, my fingers tips sure felt tender.

Crazy Sexy Cancer Video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quest for Hand Cream

Friday, December 4, 2009

I received a hand cream sample called ‘Udder Cream’ in my Xeloda kit. I found it to be really the best stuff I’ve tried, ever. The only problem is finding more before it runs out.

Xeloda really does a drying number on my hands, feet and legs. It’s recommended they stay well moisturized to stop my skin from becoming dry and flaky. Also to stop cracks, peeling and sores developing.

Well, after scoring zero after five trips looking for the stuff, I was ready to give up. The stock boy at one store said they discontinued the product and took it off the shelves two days ago. I decided to give Wal-Mart a shot. Hero... I found the Udder Cream. It has just a bit of a scent, not anything heavy, which I can handle right now.

I’m so udderly happy. Here is their website ...

Getting Some of the Old Me Back

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It’s been about six and a half weeks since my last cycle with Taxotere and I’m showing more signs of improvement just about every day. For example, I can walk up the stairs in one shot after a shower instead of resting at the base of the stairs; I can stand and brush my teeth ... instead of sitting on the side of the tub. When driving, I can turn the steering wheel ... no problem. My jaw doesn’t feel weak when I bite down on food and I’m slowly getting my taste buds back so things like fruit and raw veggies are becoming yummy again.

Yesterday, after the Breast Cancer Support Group coffee instead of going straight to my car, I stopped to look at some stuff in the mall ... it was just a few minutes but still that is something I’m so proud of. I’m really excited to be getting some of the old me back ... and just in time for Christmas. I couldn’t ask for a better gift.

The Bunny is Back!

Club Smooch Backstage

Ok, I realise I have been a little quiet as of late but that's only because I've been hard at work creating my first true comedy act.

I always have a couple of pages of act ideas at all times and picking ones I want to work on is so hard because I want to do them all! But I must stick by my own mantra of less acts, better quality.

Last time I was in town before a Club Smooch after my sound check and run through I popped out to pick up some false eyelashes. It just so happened that the local costume shop was having a sale of it's ex rental costumes. I wasn't expecting to find anything but I had a bit of a snoop amongst the rails and found a scraggy looking bunny costume.

I've always wanted to go to Halloween dressed in a big fluffy bear outfit, if only so I could run up to people and cuddle them like an overgrown teddy bear. So I was drawn to the bedraggled looking bunny. I managed to talk them down from the overambitious pricing and left the store with a new act in the bag. Well not quite, but you get the picture.

Music was the next stumbling block. I knew I wanted to use Run Rabbit Run, simply for the fact that the cheeriness of it would juxtapose so nicely against what I was going to do to this poor little bunny. But how to finish it.

A chance evening in with nothing to watch but 'Top 100 sexiest music videos' was to be my saviour. Never mind thatthe woman co-hosting sounded like she should have been on one of those ads that crop up at about 1:30am. You know the ones I'm talking about, 'Sexy girls in your neighbourhood are just waiting for YOUR call.' Nonetheless, I found myself tapping my toes to a completely over the top pop/hip hop song and voila! I had my music.

The process was a lot of fun for me. More acting than dancing, it was just a bit of silly fun. I could never have predicted just how much the audience at Club Smooch was going to love it. The reaction was overwhelming. I often have people come up to me after a show to say they liked the act, etc. This time I had people copying the bunny moves!

Speaking of Club Smooch, all puns aside, the Halloween event was a hell of a night! I also performed my La Belle Femme en Rouge act which was the complete opposite of Rabbit Pie. It's a 30s jazz era fan dance with an exquisite costume from Curve Couture. You can see it here where Vanessa, our Club Smooch maid has snapped me backstage waiting to go on.

Chrissie (boss lady at Curve Couture) also had a fashion show during Club Smooch. Her fashion shows are never ordinary and although I saw them rehearsing and had a little peek from behind the curtain backstage I didn't get to see the full show until I was going through the footage from the show with Bob on Saturday. Wow! It was very, very sexy.

In fact, on the Halloween night I was onstage no less than 4 times! We all got out on stage for a boogie to one of Trixy Vixens songs Moloko, and I was also part of the Club Smooch Troupe. It reminded me of all the things I miss about theatre. In particular a nice Sunday roast before rehearsals!

Famous Breast Cancer Survivors Video

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Help Spirit Jump With Our Fruitcake Fundraiser

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Los Gatos woman creates clothing line designed for chemo patients - San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Confident Clothing Company Holiday Discount

Happy December!

Please go to All orders received during the month of December will enjoy a 25% discount.
Please use for yourself or send to all women that you know, will enjoy the comfortable and functionality of our special clothing.

Shopping For Groceries

Yesterday D and I went grocery shopping which is quite an event because D has been doing it solo for a few months now. I just don’t have the energy to walk around. The reason yesterday was different is that as the days go by, I’m feeling a bit stronger and want to get and do stuff. This grocery store we went to has a bench at the entrance and seating at the pharmacy half way down. I walked around with D for a bit and then sat down. Once he got too far away, I walked to and from the cosmetic counter. There was some Bling over there that keep catching my eye and inviting me back. Anyways, I didn’t feel the exhaustion I usually do ... so I am thrilled. The old me is slowly but surely coming back.

I’m really excited about this new found energy. Now when I see things in stores, they appear brighter and more exciting than they did a few months ago. I don’t know how to properly describe it but when I was on Taxotere, everything appeared dull but now things are starting to sparkle again.

Yummy Polski Ogorki

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yesterday I craved pickles. I’ve been turned off those babies since I started chemo over a year ago but yesterday was the day. I pulled out a fresh jar and D and I struggled to get it open but once opened, I estimate I had at least five pickles and not the itsy bitsy ones either. They don’t have calories but they do have salt and maybe that’s why I like them so much. Anyways, they were yummy, crunchy and delectable. I think I am good for a day or two now.

This morning I woke up extra early for some reason so I got up had my toast and Xeloda pills. I felt extremely tired and went back to bed for a three hour nap. I feel pretty good now.

It was a quiet weekend so I think that is all for now.

Website...Cancer View Canada

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I’ve had a couple people send me the link to Cancer View Canada and I thought I’d share it with everyone. The website’s goal is to connect people to services, resources and information regarding to cancer. It includes information on prevention, screening, treatment and support.

Over the months I’ve found the whole site to be a good read. One thing I really like is that I can have clinical trials info on breast cancer ... in my area ... emailed to me. And that’s just great.

There is a lot to look at so stop by and have a peak...

My First Public Wheelchair Ride

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yesterday we decided to hit Costco ... D phoned ahead to confirm they had wheel chairs, there’s no way I’d be strong enough to walk all those aisles. I’ve been very apprehensive of being pushed around in a wheel chair, never mind being seen in one. But you know what ... it’s like most things in life ... fear of the unknown ... because the trip ended up being pretty good. I sat in the chair and D pushed me up and down every aisle, we stopped and looked at this and that. It wasn’t a big deal.

I must say D needs some pointers on wheelchair chauffeuring because he’d stop and look at an item and say something like, “have a look at this” and I’d be ahead of him so I’d have to twist my neck to see what he was looking at. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he needed to pull me back to see what he was talking about. I just figured I get some extra neck stretches in for the day.

Costco is an amazing place with a lot of good deals but after seeing the huge line-ups to pay, we ended up leaving without buying a thing. We’ll try again another day.

Stretch and Exercise

Friday, November 27, 2009

Since I started my foot exercises this week I decided to start doing stretches as well. I’ve been stretching my arms and legs and it’s paying off because today I was able to have a look at the bottoms of my feet. I haven’t done that for months and months. This has all become possible because I’m off that horrible Taxotere. My last cycle ended five and half weeks ago and my body is starting recover.

My posture has become atrocious. To correct that, I’ve started sitting in a proper dining room chair while watching TV instead of the cushy living room furniture. I’ve also been pulling my shoulders back when sitting and walking.

My body is starting to release some of the fluid it was hanging on to. My moon shaped face is slowly disappearing. Yesterday, I pulled my belt one notch tighter ... so my chemo belly is going down and I’m back in some of my regular shoes. I’ve really been focusing on having protein at every meal and I think it helps with reducing water retention.

I’m so much more self-motivated now than when I was on Taxotere.