Journey skincare and beauty  


Journey Skincare and Beauty is a new Irish skincare brand that launched this weekend. Irish makeup artist Rhona Cullinan alongside a Kilkenny cosmetic company, who are passionate about producing chemical-free products, developed this range of natural healing skincare products. The products are not only suitable for people going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments but also for those who have extreme skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and results have shown they even help with the healing of scars. 

I tried some of the products out while I was doing my radiation treatments. I was lucky that I had very few side effects from radiation (I only had 20 sessions). On the final week and the week that followed, I did have redness and was very itchy. I used their salve on my chest area and under my arms and it really helped. I have suffered from eczema on my right foot, ankle and hip, on and off for years. The salve cleared up an outbreak within days and strangely enough, I haven't had another outbreak since. The moisturising cream is seriously good for dry skin, as is their body butter, which melts right into your skin. Their luxury cleansing oil is good for sensitive, dry skin and can be used to take off all your makeup. I have to say that all the products smelt gorgeous. 

To find out more about the products check out the website.

Breast screenings in Ireland restarting 

I was really glad to hear today that breast screenings have restarted this week. I think there haven't been any screenings since March because of Covid! They are restarting with people that have waited the longest for screening. 

Check out the link for more info:

To be eligible for free breast screenings in Ireland, you have to be over 50, I really think this needs to be lowered. I was 37 when I was diagnosed. If you have any doubts about changes in your breasts, please speak to your GP regardless of your age.

Urgent appeal for volunteers for Irish Cancer Society's Volunteer Driver Service 

Yesterday the Irish Cancer Society put out an urgent call for volunteers for their volunteer driver scheme.

"We’re looking for volunteer drivers to help transport cancer patients to and from their hospital chemotherapy treatments. Volunteers are needed in locations across Ireland to help keep this vital service running. This role is weekdays only and you must be able to commit a full day when driving. All drivers must have a roadworthy vehicle, an active email address and a valid driver's license."

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please apply through Volunteer Ireland: 

You can find out more details about the scheme on the Irish Cancer Society website:

I have been availing of this service for the last few months and would be totally lost without it. I don't drive and the transport between Carlow (where I live) and Kilkenny hospital is even more limited than it was before the pandemic.  The support these drivers provide is greatly appreciated.

Klara x

The night before my ninth chemo 

klara mcdonnell

I had my weekly pre-chemo blood test this morning. I had a very broken sleep last night and awoke feeling nervous about heading outside. Perhaps I need to cut down on watching the news a bit. About a week ago I decided to remove the Facebook apps off my phone and just login to my account when I am on my Mac. I was getting overwhelmed by messages from people, some I had never even met saying things like "will your treatment still go ahead?" and passing on incorrect information about the virus (videos and audio clips). I'm sure most of these messages were well-intended. I would also say the videos/audio clips were mass sent to their friends but it became too much for me. I haven't felt this on edge in a long time, although I know I am not alone in feeling this. 

I decided to take a Xanax after my breakfast. I usually only take these for emergencies (when my anxiety is really bad).  I got down to Carlow town early and felt brave enough to venture into Tesco first for some food products. I obviously looked a little eccentric heading in wearing my glasses, turban, scarf up to my nose and blue plastic gloves. Strangely enough, zero fucks were given by me. I was relieved to see only a handful of people, all wearing masks and equally trying to avoid me. The nurse at the clinic was fully kitted out in a mask, gloves and protective plastic over her uniform. When I got home I saw some parcels had arrived for me. A new wig from (another one!) and masks from My friend Rachel Masterson had kindly bought them for me from the site. Late afternoon I received the call from Kilkenny hospital to say my bloods were ok and to ask me general questions in relation to the virus. I laughed as usual when they asked me had I been outside the country. I'm currently picking out my outfit for tomorrow's chemo session - it will be my 9th one. I like to dress up for the hospital and treat it as something positive. You'd swear I didn't get out much! I do know I'll be wearing one of my new masks with whatever I decide upon wearing. 

Klara x

Me and the Big C 

I was diagnosed with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (grade 3, stage 2) on 4th December 2019 in Waterford Hospital. My treatment plan consists of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. I get chemo weekly at Kilkenny Hospital and have 8 Taxol/Carbo sessions under my belt. Overall I am happy with how my treatment is going. I have almost no side effects from my treatment.

I did lose my hair, although my wig and hat collection has greatly increased. The one in this photo is from Aliexpress. I've worn turbans for years but I think when I come through the other side of my treatment, I may have a very different relationship with them and want to give a lot of them away. 

The only other negative part of my treatment is I get very high on the steroids I take, which suits me fine, although others that have to communicate with me, not so much! 

A few days ago, the Irish government said all those who are over 70 or who are extremely medically vulnerable should "cocoon" for the next two weeks. Basically, people in those two categories should not leave their homes at all. I guess I fell into the medically vulnerable from the treatment I am going through and I have asthma (though not severe). I obviously still have to go outside for my blood tests and chemotherapy sessions. I'm waiting on some masks to arrive in the post for those times! Other than that I will be inside. I am starting this blog to document my journey back to a cancer-free life and I might as well do something somewhat productive while I am isolated from everything and everyone. 

Klara x