In summer 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My active treatment included a full mastectomy; and a course of chemotherapy which I completed at Christmas. I’m proud to say that I’ve done everything I can as a patient to protect myself from future cancers, and I’m now a member of the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Club.
I owe the biggest thanks ever to the brilliant NHS staff at Ipswich Hospital for saving my life. I received world-class healthcare and they showed me nothing but kindness throughout. I’m extremely grateful to the experts on my doorstep who were there when I needed them most. I know how lucky I am.
Everyone’s cancer is different. In my case, it took almost a year from finding the lump, to being free of invasive treatments and gently working back towards physical fitness. My hair is thickening and I no longer cover my head to go out. I’m running again, slowly and for shorter distances. Yoga is helping greatly to improve my strength and range of motion (specifically Yoga with Adriene, I’m a huge fan). I continue to have wonderful support at home from family and close friends.
My non-essential commitments are still on hold. No creative writing workshops, media, or author talks for a while. I’m on an email diet. But I continue to write and chip away at the WiP. It is a fascinating and challenging project.
Of course the experience of breast cancer has changed me, hopefully in good ways too. I have many lovely things to look forward to this year.