Toye Mary Writes


12/Dec/2019

Today marks exactly a year since I posted last.

I have really neglected the blogging aspects of my life for a whole year. When I sit and think about it, I really cannot put my finger on a singular reason of why I have done so.

Life is constantly happening and happening so fast, and right in the middle of every possible situation the only thought that comes to mind is “I SHOULD write about this!” LOL, but please, ask me where the posts are…

I’ll answer for sure. Look no further than in my busy mind. I have experienced so much in the past year, from quitting my job to starting a music performance course at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP), to giving music more of my attention and gigging part time, to my continuous weight-loss/fitness/healthy eating journey, to situation-ships that did not not work out, to leaving my beloved family church to a fresh start else where.

I think sometimes I have so much going on and have no clue how to go about telling my story, so I have ended up looking at this process of writing as such a chore, I overthink and romanticise every idea I have and just results to me doing nothing about it. This year I am actively working on changing my mindset towards my life as a blogger.

So on that note, here I am again. Ready to give consistency a run for it’s money, if there’s such a thing.

I also want to thank you for sticking around and riding with me even in this quiet season.

 

TM xXx

 

 


12/Dec/2019

I AM… The light I never thought I could be.

For so long, I have allowed life circumstances, failed relationships & education history along with numerous other set backs to scream at me the very person (I Am NOT). I realise today thatI have given (and still do sometimes) so much space to to those life happenings to sound like my truth and my final destination. What an injustice I have been living in over the years.

I am the light I never thought I could be, even in the darkest times in my life, I have still, somehow, shone so bright. It’s true, I still shine.

Even when I fail to realise it, I shine.

Most times, it will take the observation of others to distinguish the very strength you posess, to remind you of this great truth that, You. Are. Strong.

You are strong and full of light, even when you’re at your weakest, in the darkest and most desolate of places. It is in you.

9. “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then i am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I am the light I never thought I could be, because I am in Christ, And Christ In Me. *drops pen*


TM-first-post--1200x800.jpeg
12/Dec/2019

On this day 2 years ago, I woke up to what I thought would be a regular day for me…

Quite the contrary as I started off in the shower to get ready for work (as you do), in the process I felt the need to randomly check my breasts for any lumps, I didn’t do this because I was expectant to find something, but because of it’s history in my family in which it affected my late aunt’s health. Before this there had never been an occurence of Cancer in my family history, but as a result of losing my aunt, I had become very cautious and would check myself at the most random times.

This can be described as BSE (Breast Self-Examination).

It is important as a woman to know your body, study every detail about about your body so you are able to recognise any changes that occur in your body. For some this can be frustrating, for others (like myself), it can be life changing.

Personally, I think the earlier you begin to study and pay more attention to your body, you’ll be able to recognise the slightest change in your body much sooner…

…Something I did regularly.

I am not writing this to put fear into you in anyway, but to highlight the importance of TWO things:

  1. Paying attention to your body, and
  2. Recognise significant changes in your body.

The EARLIER you are able to recognise changes in your body, the SOONER you can get it checked, rule out what it is not, and eventually name what it is or give it a diagnosis.

We all have a responsibility to care for ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually just to mention a few. This does not just apply to women, but men too.

Before I found this lump, I did everything in MY power to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to my surprise I went wrong somewhere… Till this day, they could not find the root cause of the appearance of it, so I made a decision to set new standards on my health.

One part of this whole process that still amazes me, and has me in AWE of God is that, I WAS NOT ACTUALLY DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER…

Yeah I know, how right? Until The Next Post…

TM xXx


IMG_7400-1200x1800.jpg
12/Dec/2019

During this kind of process, waiting becomes the norm. You are either waiting on a call from your gp, or consultant from the hospital, for results, unexpected blood tests you need to run in for, appointment letters, it could literally be anything.

So What Was Next For Me?

I was not expecting to be told that the images from the test results were unclear. As a result of this, they could not make a definite diagnosis as the characteristics of the lump could not be identified. I thought this could either be good or bad. It is either this benign phyllodes tumour (which is what they suspected this lump was in my case.) and I sure did hope so too, or it was something more than that.

I was however relieved to learn that they decided surgery was the next step of treatment. Relieved because it meant this lump would soon become a thing of the past, but also highly nervous because I had never been for a surgery since I was about 5 years old I think, and of course I cannot remember a thing about the process.

Then there was the wait for pre-operational assessment dates. At this point, it suddenly felt as though things were beginning to happen at a faster pace. This was a good thing. There were times when I felt unsure about going for the operation, but deep down I questioned how else they’d remove the lump completely, ready or not, this was about to really happen. I had numb days, days where I fell into deep thought about what was actually going on inside my body, obviously I had no clue, which was quite scary, not sure if I’ve mentioned before that you do tend to think the worst.. Now you’re probably thinking “you’re a Christian, how can you think like that? Pick up your bible.”

LOOL.. Don’t judge me fam!!

Picking up your bible is what you do regularly, in preparation for the trials and tests life will bring your way, so when they do come, you use the knowledge of that word to encourage yourself until you come out.

Sigh… Whether the malignant was active or inactive, I could not change this reality in any way, especially not physically. I remember, on many occasions looking up to the sky pushing the clouds back with my eyes in search of God’s face. I wasn’t sure if He was with me, and I knew I needed Him. There was nothing I could do, even in my wildest dreams to change my current predicament.

The Day Of The Operation..

09/06/16. The day was finally here, day off work was booked, I needed to be in the hospital by 10:30am and admitted onto the ward, fasting and ready to get checked by the surgeons and doctors one final time. My mum was with me every step of the way.. God too.

TM xXx


Toye-intro-1200x800.jpeg
12/Dec/2019

Welcome back beautiful people. Picking up from where I left you all was a bit more tasking than I had imagined it to be; but here goes something…

Having anticipated the confirmation of my initial scan dates, I was very pleased to know that I did not need to wait much longer. I would soon be done with this part of the process.

So there I was in the month of March, as I had been waiting patiently for the days to arrive. This was also the third month into my new job. I’m not sure how the saying goes, but it’s something along the lines of “for every victory or triumph a new battle rises.” If you have a better idea of what I’m trying to say here, do leave a comment below.

 

Truth is when I first discovered this lump, one of the numerous thoughts I entertained was the question of, “how would they remove this?” I mean, you would ask yourself the same right?

 

Even though you probably knew the answer already. The first thing I thought of, of course was ‘an operation’. I thought to myself, “would I really need to go for an operation?”, it was a no brainer really, bt still a part of me caught a fright, because I had never been admitted to hospital and never did I think it would become the next place of reference, but at the same time I thought, “I really need this thing to be gone, removed, out of my body somehow, anyhow. Despite the results.”

So the sooner I went for these scans, the better. Which meant getting the results, and bringing us a step closer to a diagnosis, or maybe even just steering us in the right direction of which treatment would be best for me.

After some research of my own regarding this process, I learned that the next steps of treatment are dependent on what your leading health professional/consultant has learned about the tumour that you have been tested for, so you would really have to just trust the judgement(s) of your consultant. For each individual case this decision can always differ. When I came across this, I really was not sure what to expect so all I could do was wait, hope for good news and that every decision or judgement call made would benefit me in the best way possible.

 

The first of my two initial tests were an ultrasound scan, followed by a biopsy on Tuesday 15th March 2016. This was actually treated as urgent due to the nature of the case, and because I had missed my initial appointment.

 

On Monday 9th May 2016, I was called back into the clinic for an appointment with my consultant to explain my test results, which was also when they would discuss what my next steps of treatment would be. On this occasion, a female member of my consultant’s team saw me.

 

This is something I had to really get used to. The VERY long periods of waiting as well as meeting a variety of internal and external health professionals and members of my consultants team too.

 

Present at this long-awaited appointment the consultant breaks it to me that the characteristics of the lump could not be identified, but they suspected if it was anything at all, it was likely to be a benign phyllodes tumour, and they had decided to operate despite their uncertainty. At this point, I actually had to note down the name of this tumour, because when I went to see my GP for my initial examination about this lump, I remember her mentioning this ‘unusual’ name but I could never actually remember how to say it, so this time around I had to write it down for 2 reasons.

Number one being, I would know what feedback to give my mum and siblings, and my second reason was to simply do my research on what a “phyllodes tumour” actually was…

 

Benign Phyllodes Tumour (Brief Definition)

Benign means (not cancer). A phyllodes tumour is a hard lump of tissue that can appear in supportive tissue of the breast.

 

I thought ‘gee whiz’ (what a relief), she almost had my heart in pieces. Unsure of steps they would want to take next, I was so relieved to know that they had concluded so quickly to operate, after all, this was what I had anticipated and in a strange way, hoped for. So now, that was out of the way, pre-operation assessments needed to be booked to ensure that I got onto the operating waiting list as soon as possible…

 

…There’s More To This Story Beautiful People, Until The Next Post, Our Journey Continues!

 

TM xXx


2017-01-03-PHOTO-00000758-1200x800.jpg
12/Dec/2019

Get back up: THERE’S NEVER A NEED TO GIVE UP!

I’m not about to preach, but what I will do is share openly and honestly, what has been a matter of concern and quite heavy on my heart…

“Have you ever embarked on a journey, then sat back and asked yourself, “WHY on earth did I begin?”

 

IN that very moment, go straight back to the drawing board and remind yourself of the exact reason WHY you decided to take the leap of faith. The leap of faith to start that business idea you have been working on, the YouTube or vlog channel you’ve just set up, a music album you desire to start/complete or even are currently working on, that fitness plan you have drawn up, or it so happens that you are someone like myself, who has recently embarked on the journey of becoming a blogger/writer.

MAKE A PROMISE TO YOURSELF THAT, AFTER YOU REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR “WHY”, YOU WILL LIVE IT OUT DAILY!

 

 PHILIPPIANS 3:14

“I will press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of GOD in Jesus Christ.” (KJV)

“So I run toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus, to the life above. (GNT)

 

NOTE: “…in Jesus Christ.” (KJV) “…through Christ Jesus…” Not in OR through any man.

 

LIVE OUT YOUR CALLING IN AND THROUGH CHRIST JESUS DAILY!

 

In the process of pressing on and living out your calling you’ll encounter bumps and potholes, you may even make mistakes or a wrong turn here and there, step on some toes (whether deliberately or not), you’ll be misunderstood, you’ll get discouraged and FEEL the NEED to give up; DON’T DO IT!

 

THERE IS NEVER A NEED TO GIVE UP ON YOUR PURPOSE.

 

No one was with you when you received the inspiration, leading, conviction or even the call to begin that new project and run with that vision. Neither did they give you the vision. Oh and even if they were, God gave YOU the burden, called and inspired you for a reason, A PURPOSE. Selah.

 

As you journey to fulfilment by answering this call, you will find that you will need help. I attended a business/entrepreneurial seminar a few weeks ago and each panellist made very valuable points, but collectively, and at different points of the seminar, what they mentioned next stuck with me. They said, and I paraphrase;

For you to fill in your ‘not so good’ gaps, make a list of those things, search for, and then partner with someone who can do what you cannot do. #Word

 

Truth is, according to my blogging schedule (for lack of a better word LOL); I really should have released this post three weeks ago. I know right, you’re thinking “ah after 2 posts you want be falling behind already.” I’m even smiling as I type this because in hindsight I’m wondering to myself why on earth I have allowed myself to become a victim of the 101 opinions men may have had of how I should be telling my story.

 

 

IT IS YOUR STORY, ONLY YOU KNOW HOW BEST TO TELL IT!

 

 

ECCLESIASTES 4: 9-10 (NIV)

  1. Two are better than one,

Because they have a good return for their labour:

  1. If either of them falls down,

One can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

 

Don’t neglect the help of others, look around you and ask yourself, “If I fall this very minute, who will pick me up?”

 

On the strength of that scripture, I can boldly thank God for the special and amazing people in my life, family, those who have become more than friends and friends who I can call family, they are able to tell me the truth IN LOVE (major key), pull me back up to stand firmly on my two feet.

 

Can your friends say the same about you?

Quote: “They will see the fruit of your graft but they will not see the efforts”. – TC

TM xXx


ToyeMary-1200x837.jpg
12/Dec/2019

Lets get straight into it shall we?

Right, so I had been waiting on a call or letter of confirmation regarding the scan appointment.

 

As you would know (refer to previous post), I was not living at home at this point in time, so my letter had been sent to my mum’s and of course I wasn’t in the know. I do thank God that both her and my sister did not check for any of my post.

Life began getting really busy, and it was only about to get busier, with work and our annual church conference ‘Winds Of Change’ which was fast approaching.
This was the PERFECT event to keep me distracted and occupied, it would take my mind off all the negative thoughts and ideas of what this lump represented.

 

2. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
NOW, to all my fighters out there, male/female, young and old. You will agree with me that in that moment, it did not matter how small or big the sign or change that might have taken place in your body was. Whether you were diagnosed or not. You got knocked back, that unexplainable, numb kind of feeling.

**Here Is A Reminder That YOU ARE NOT ALONE In This.**

I saw my Consultant and GP briefly this week. My GP said something that stuck with me, “some people give up fighting before the battle begins”.

Well, there is so much truth in this statement, and it took a second for it to sink in, but please believe I struggled. Just knowing this lump was present and waking up daily hoping it was gone. It really could have been nothing, but as a young woman, I grew up hearing different stories about women finding a lump in their breast and it being one of the major signs of breast cancer. So for myself, and any other woman who may have or is experiencing this right now, you immediately begin to think the worst.
Sometime towards the beginning of the month of March, after avoiding coming home and speaking to my mum or sister about it (my brother didn’t live at home), and not hearing from the hospital regarding my appointments, I finally decided to come home and check the post myself.

YOU GUESSED RIGHT… I HAD MAIL!! LOOL!!

 

I opened the letter to find out that I had missed my appointment by about a few days, I can’t really remember. All I knew was I had missed an important appointment, and even though I had avoided checking the post for a few weeks, I assumed it would have been courteous of them to call or send a reminder text.

All hope wasn’t lost, I just needed to call them up first thing in the morning to book another appointment.

 

NOW I’ll be honest, I cannot remember when I told my mum, but IF my memory serves me well, I believe it must have this particular night. Surprisingly she was calmer than I expected, although shocked too, I think I had to even repeat myself, then I could see a hint of worry, mixed with disbelief painted all over her face. She shook it off though, and then said a prayer in my mother tongue; “A o ni r’ogun cancer ni oruko Jesu”. TRANSLATION: “We will not see any cancer like problem in Jesus’ name”. The people will say, AMEN!

TM x


Tm-blog-001-1200x800.jpg
12/Dec/2019

I recognise that I can only do this because I am still here…They say it all the time, and you have heard it, repeatedly… “Tomorrow is never promised”.

This, I have found to be so true over the years, especially when I began losing the people who were dearest to me.

My friend Victor Feyisola Omogbehin (20/04/88 – 09/08/10). It happened so suddenly that it has taken me forever and a day to come to terms with him leaving. Not just me, it took his family and other friends a long time to deal with it.

Then there was my dearest brother, Oluwakunlemi ‘Gospelz’ Teniola (31/08/90 – 12/07/11 ). He went on a mission trip in Brazil and did not come back home alive. This too was another tragic loss, a shock to Mummy Teniola, ‘My footballer’ Alex, Tide my (not so) lil baby sis. To everyone who knew him it was so sudden, and the impact of his loss even reached people who didn’t know him personally.

Writing this is harder than I thought it would be, but I am now able to do this without shedding a tear, it needs to be done. So yes, back to “tomorrow is never promised”.

It really isn’t, and I honestly made the mistake of thinking it was. Until it crept up on me like a thief in the night, that thing called Cancer came for me.

**********************************************************************************

February 3rd 2016,

23 years since my dad had left. On this fateful morning, I am up and getting ready for work in my aunts newly built apartment in Canary Wharf. Whilst in the bath, my hand brushes past my left breast, and I’m forced to double check what I felt. A lump. I laughed and thought “nah I didn’t just feel that”. So, I check my right breast, nothing, back to the left one and I’m reasoning with myself so sure that this wasn’t there before.

  1. ALWAYS CHECK YOURSELF

Was I checking myself hoping to find this lump? Most definitely not. However, ever since I lost my favourite aunt after battling breast cancer and sickle cell, even though I dreaded the idea of it, I learned that it is necessary to ALWAYS check your body and look out for possible changes. Male, female, brother, sister, friend, stranger, aunty, uncle… ALLA DEM! LOL! Basically, everyone who may ever set eyes on this post, I plead with you, CHECK YOURSELF.

It was definitely there, and I definitely did not want to accept that it was. That was the next road I needed to cross.

 

*********************************************************************************

The next two weeks, I’m living life as though it’s not physically there…like I’m watching a timeline pass by me, yet each time I remember to check for ‘IT’. At work. At church. Then there were the moments where I’d try to talk myself out of it, and remind myself; “I don’t have cancer”. I mean, it couldn’t be…right?

I was in denial for sure, if you looked into Webster’s dictionary and saw denial you would have seen my face wearing a shocked/ confused expression but in my nicest outfit and in my face beat to the max! Makeup became my veil, my covering, my mask. As far as my colleagues at work thought…everyday was date night! I kept getting these;

“Ooh Toye, you look so nice! Love the make up and your outfit”, or the “Got another date have we *wink wink*”

But back to reality. I’m so thankful for finding it when I did. I knew, whatever it was, it wouldn’t remain there for much longer; I had God on my side.

At this point I was living at my aunts temporarily. So it was easy to keep it from my mum for a few weeks, besides I didn’t want to tell her straight away anyway. I knew the time would come where id have to inform her of the interesting news.

Why wouldn’t you want to tell your mum you ask? LooL!!

Well…

No.1

I wasn’t quite sure I could predict what her reaction would be. We had lost Aunty Ronke fighting this battle. Aunty Ronke was mum’s younger sister and they were closer than close, when she left, mum really felt it.

Aunty Ronke was her confidant in any situation, whenever my mum called for help, aunty Ronke would come running, it didn’t matter what she was doing, after her husband and children, my mum was her priority. I miss her.

No.2

I really wasn’t sure of what exactly was going on. At this point in time I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I was just in autopilot. I needed to process this. I just needed some peace and quiet. The last thing I needed was the whole world knowing constantly asking if I was ok, I didn’t want to be a charity case, I didn’t want 100 calls and messages lighting up my phone on a daily reminding me of what I had to deal with; I dunno… I thought it would help me somehow.

No.3

I wanted to be ready to tell them all on my terms; that meant telling mum, my brother and sister, my cousins and then eventually my friends.

After about 2 weeks, I booked my first appointment with my GP. She gave me my initial examination and was convinced that it could not be anything but a benign tumour, but she still wanted to refer me to my local hospital (Newham General) brap brap.. LOOL.. The wait for my first couple of scans began…

 

 

TM x


12/Dec/2019

 

 

MyFirstBlogpost!…Heeere we goooo!! 😀

Hi, I’m Toye Mary.

I’ve just turned 27 and I launched this blog on my birthday with the help of a few people who are close to me.

I love God, I love singing, I love music, I believe I was born to be a worshipper.

I also love my family and friends and Foooooood!!

So nothing crazy yet. I’m just your typical happy-go-lucky girl, well not your typical..since I was fearfully and wonderfully made by Christ! But you get where I’m going with this..

My experiences do not define who I am, but add some sauce to the journey that I am on. Each experience that I have gone through (or that you have and will go through) is an opportunity to learn about life and to grow closer to God…for I believe deep down in my toes where God said in his word in 1Corinthians 10:13;

“No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” NET Bible

So grab a friend! A notebook! Some popcorn maybe, and more importantly an open heart so that as I share my experiences and talk about how God saw me through, you can pay it forward and help to motivate and encourage someone else…even me!

 

So welcome to mine and Your..

*Journey of Becoming**

 

 

TM x

 

#IronSharpensIron #brotherskeeper #sisterskeeper #MamaWeMadeIt #TmWrites #JourneyOfBecomingBegins #Chapter27