Self-love is about looking after yourself. It’s about taking responsibility and listening to what your mind and body are telling you. It’s not only the wellness you see on Instagram, it’s also going to bed early and getting check-ups. I haven’t always listened to what body and mind are telling me I was especially guilty of thinking sleep was somehow an option rather than a necessity. I used to stay up at all hours thinking I could “always” sleep but couldn’t always do whatever it was that was so important. Since becoming sick I know how essential sleep is and how when I don’t get enough everything else suffers.
Loving yourself means taking the warning signs your body sends seriously too. I wasn’t aware that blood in the pee can be a symptom of bladder cancer, but I did know it meant that something was very wrong. I had blood in my pee and was amazed that it didn’t hurt, but I thought I had an infection so went to the doctor. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and urged me, very seriously, to get a complete check-up at the urologist. Luckily, I did. If I hadn’t the outcome would have been worse.
I’ve heard bladder cancer described as the common cancer that no-one’s heard of. To raise awareness Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) www.bcan.org runs events in May every year and spreads the word about symptoms. The designated colour is orange and in previous years various prominent landmarks have been lit up orange. This is my contribution to bladder cancer awareness month 2019, an orange bladdergraffiti post of love and a reminder that if you have any symptoms like:
- Blood in your pee (with or without pain)
- Urinary tract infections that persist
- Pain in the lower back and pelvis
- Increased urgency to pee and or increased frequency of peeing.
Love yourself enough to get a check-up!