A year ago today I first heard the word “Cancer” from a Doctors mouth. She had examined me, told me she was “not happy” with what she found and after I had gotten dressed, informed me that it was highly likely that I had Cervical cancer.
Since then my world has been a blur. Some days I can’t even remember how old I am, or what happened when because since then we have been on the medical treadmill that is fighting cancer. In that time I have learned two things:
- Cancer is not quite the science they make it out to be.
- That cancer spreads the minute it is diagnosed. It seeps out and seeks to destroy the worlds of the families and friends surrounding the patients. It’s a hell both personal and medical.
Waiting for the hysterectomy that I knew I had to do but broke my heart because at 29 I had almost lost all my reproductive options. Two kids or not, I mourned that loss. I would never have done anything differently, it gave me the best chance of beating it. Sadly, less than two months on the disease had returned. By the time I was scanned around 3 months post hysterectomy there it was, but not just in my pelvis. In my stomach too.
I was told my outlook was poor. I was given news no one wants to ever hear in their life. Especially not before they’ve even turned 30 and especially not when their baby isn’t even one year old.
I’ve lost my hair, I’ve had two major surgeries resulting in the loss and change of my inner organs. Things won’t ever be the same for my body.
I have so much to live for, so much to fight for. So much that makes winning this fight… well, there is no other option for me. Winning is essential. It is life.
I will not allow anyone to change that view. It doesn’t matter what I hear because what is in my heart tells me I have to beat this. My husband, my babies, my family and my friends all remind me every day that winning is non-negotiable.
I will not give up.
I couldn’t do it without them.
Everyone around me right now is just incredible. So to everyone around me, a shout out:
You’ve all been there since we first got the news, you’ve all continued to love us and help us, you’ve done some incredible things for us as a family that you’ll never really realise how important they were. But all those little things, the messages, the visits, bringing over spag bol cooked up, or coming in and cleaning the house up for us because we got overwhelmed. You’ve all made such a difference. Listening to me bang on for hours, holding my hand when I’ve cried. Thank you. I love you all.
You are all part of getting us through this year. So thank you. Thank you all.
My life has changed so dramatically from a year ago when I wouldn’t have even told you I was ill. It’s gone from being about adjusting to being a mum to two, which was tough enough, to being mum of two with cancer.
But that won’t last, it’s not forever and I plan to wave cancer bye-bye into a part of my past that will be part of my story to help me get better care for women. My story is a story that proves that cervical cancer doesn’t fit into a 3-year window. Mine is a story that shouldn’t ever have to be repeated by another woman.
But for now, let me say how sobering this has all been. How it’s caused me to lose so much unnecessary baggage and crap from my life as you realise just what matters and how much of what you worried about previously did matter. I am lucky, in so very many ways and I have so much that makes me so rich.
A year on I had hoped this would all be a distant, bad, memory. That I would be fighting fit and looking forward to Christmas with my kids. So I’ve got work to do on the fit part, but I am looking forward to Christmas with my kids, my Husband and my incredible family.
Lots of love xxx