On the 01 Jan 18 I instinctively knew that I had Breast Cancer. Before Christmas I underwent an ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy on my right breast. Subsequent to that the consultant sat me down and told me that the lump was highly suspicious.
It was confirmed on the 03 Jan 18, but thankfully it is Stage 1, albeit an aggressive, Grade 3.
I was devastated, it just felt might world had been pulled from underneath me, another life event to deal with, but this time, my physical health was on the line.
I quietly cried on the journey home on the date of the tests, but on diagnosis I was absolutely fine. I knew my options, the treatment I was going to face and more importantly, I could get rid of this thing for once and for all, well at least in the hope it wouldn’t return. My cancer had been discovered at its earliest stage so prognosis was 90% recovery.
The NHS and all the staff, surgeon, anaesthetist, nurses etc have been nothing short of amazing. Ive already had the lump removed, a lumpectomy and a couple of lymph nodes were removed for testing, which were thankfully negative. Today I’m in my second week of recovery. I walked my dog today in the country park, did my grocery shopping and made some dinner, a week ago i was lying on the sofa !!!!
Now I’m one of those people that won’t change her path unless absolutely forced to, well this diagnosis had forced me. On the 3rd of Jan 18 I made a promise to myself, to be kinder to me and jump off the hamster wheel. I felt this overwhelming blessing that I had been given a second chance.
I am not going to waste it, forget the guilt, I am going to start living whilst managing my treatment.
That’s exactly what I plan to do. To consciously decide how I want to spend the next 40 years. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved what I did in terms of work before the diagnosis, but I was run ragged. On occasions I found it difficult to drag myself out of bed knowing the challenges I would face, coupled with the sheer exhaustion, some days were difficult to get through. It was never ending.
Whether you believe it or not, acting on the belief that we alone have the power to change our lives takes courage, strength & brutal honesty. It’s looking at yourself in the mirror and asking yourself whether your truly satisfied should your time end tomorrow. For me, my whispers were telling me there was so much more I could do, become, achieve. There was so much more I could feel.
Its remarkable, sometimes we need to be pushed to open our eyes, and I’m grateful that I’ve been pushed so that I questioned, re-thought my life, intending on more for myself.
Cancer is something I have to learn to live with until treatment is over, to incorporate my treatment into my life without letting it dominate entirely, physical it will but emotionally, I hope I can manage to hold on to who I was prior to diagnosis but it will require my time for now.
One thing I do know now, nobody’s superhuman or can escape illness, physical or mental. There will be a time when you can’t always do it all and really you shouldn’t neither.
Flexibility, acknowledgment & grace in allowing the changes to occur are strengths that make a journey easier.
Life is a precious gift, not a right that is automatically afforded to us. I have been granted each new day to wake, see, feel & appreciate my world and the people who surround me. To deicide the next steps to be taken so that i feel again feel enriched and alive by life. I am sure I will see those days again.
I thank God it wasn’t too late for me to realise that.