As October comes around this year, the month brings on mixed emotions for me. October has previously been a happy month full of fond memories of birthday celebrations. However this year will be a slightly different story, reflecting on the nightmare year that has past.
On 26th October 2018, with a 5 month old baby in our arms, my husband and I received the news we never imagined possible, “you have Breast Cancer”. Followed by “Aggressive growing, Chemotherapy & Mastectomy”. It was like we’d been hit by a train with shock.
It was four days after my 33rd birthday, and I was diagnosed with Stage 2, Grade 3 aggressive growing HER+ Breast Cancer.
From this day, things moved very quickly. We tried to take it day by day and had little milestones – completing fertility preservation, ticking off each month of six long months of chemo, and getting past each surgery and it’s long recovery. It’s a very isolating time facing this all.
No one I knew had cancer while caring for a newborn. During treatment I found the most comfort in following other women online, during their journeys. I connected with so many amazing women who had been through or were going through similar circumstances. This offered insight into what my journey was going to entail. It was the most valuable support during my treatment. It really helped me cope with what I was facing.
Thankfully today, I am cancer free. I am grateful for this and so much life has to offer. So this October, will be a time of reflection, to look back on the tough year we had. To stop and think about what my body has gone through and what my poor family has endured. I’m so grateful, I have been blessed with an amazing support network around me.
I couldn’t have gone through this without my loving husband, parents, family and friends.
The lingering cloud will never escape me, and so now it’s about learning to get on with a new normal life. With different boobs and the constant reminder of my scars, to prove the battle I have overcome.
I am a different person this year. I’ve learnt to be more present, love with all my heart, don’t sweat the small stuff and never take anything for granted. I’ve come out the other end of storm, a little battered but stronger then I ever thought I was.