Its only the beginning of July and already 2018 has been a serious life changing biggie for me.
I was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in 5 years so its been a total gut wrenching nightmare of a shit storm.
2013 was kidney cancer which resulted in the removal of a 9cm tumour and the loss of my left kidney. No warning signs or feeling unwell. This is the mind blowing thing -not having the faintest sniff of being slightly unwell. Thank God for the surgical skills of the awesome Anna O’Riordan.
2014 was breast cancer. There are no words to describe the devastating pain that struck here. A low grade cancer. I had ‘breast conserving surgery’ in the form of a lumpectomy. There was minimal loss of ‘volume’ to my right breast and after the surgery looking in the mirror I could hardly notice the difference. I was lucky. A tiny scar under my right armpit and no visible difference to my breasts. Compared to some, I sailed through it…
My Mum died of breast cancer on Christmas day when I was 16. She was 42 and the pain of losing her has gone on endlessly ever since. There was no mercy that Christmas. If you can suffer from a fractured soul then I literally heard my own soul break when she died. It happened and I had no choice but to watch it all unfold and happen before my very eyes -and it broke me. She died in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and whenever I walk by that place my eyes swell up with hot tears, my heart aches and the darkest cloud of pain comes over me.
2018 saw the return of breast cancer with a vengeance. Never have I wept so much in my entire life (not since Mum died). I was up to my neck in fear and despair and it was all too much to bear at times. My husband and daughter were my life support system and they carried me through this whole horrific rollercoaster.
On the 8th May I had a mastectomy of my right breast with immediate reconstruction. I seriously count my blessings for the NHS and the life changing reconstructive surgery they can do today. Adam Critchley in Newcastle’s RVI was my surgeon and he turned my world around. A silicone implant and yet more scars but this reconstruction has brought me back to life. Losing a breast is heartbreaking. Beyond heartbreaking. But then the magic of surgical intervention comes in to play and does its life changing magnificent thing.
For every woman who goes through this experience, who cries and sobs, feels alone, broken and destroyed and like its just not possible to carry on -OH BABY, YES. YOU. CAN.
You can do this. Dig deep. Deeper than you’ve ever dug before because theres a FIERCE warrior in you thats there waiting to rise and take you through the darkest and stormy of days.
So thats me, and some of the recent shit I’ve endured.
Its not a sob story. Not at all.
I’m lucky to be here, and I know it. In fact I feel blessed.
I’m just an example of how its possible to push through. Be your own hero and rescue squad. Glue and mend a broken soul.
Yes, it absolutely got messy.
Yes, I got hurt.
Yes, I got up and got through it.
Yes, I got strength I didn’t know I had.
YES, 100% I got this -and I sparkled a little bit too.