Oh what a traumatic 5 years

Reflective Woman (2)

2012 Cancer 1, major depression (PTSD) and anxiety. My business was ruined and all my savings gone. Also I was a changed person. The old me was history and although I tried to get back on my feet the old Denise was gone. A very bad time. It took a long time to accept that I was a different me. Strangely it feels like all my life to this point was leading me somewhere including the Cancer as much as I hated it. This is a better me.

In an attempt to recover financially my business was reinvented but I was, and am still clinging on to the old me in many ways but mixing it with the new me.

So 2017 has been a voyage of discovery

I started the year with a renewed focus. I have an inbuilt determination to survive and at this stage I’m not even thinking about success just mere survival. I was turning a corner and felt more invigorated.

Also I was looking forward to my 5 year final sign off from the Breast Cancer Team in Chorley. This is normally the bell ringing moment of the end of treatment and all the intrusive poking and prodding. I was confident and happy, only to discover that all wasn’t well. This is truly a horrifying moment.

Just to backtrack a moment

My Cancer is a rare Cancer with less than 1% of all Breast Cancers being like mine. The downside of this is that very little is known about it so treatment is experimental. But generally it was thought that if you can cut out the bad cells then you are free of Cancer… makes sense doesn’t it? I had a small likelihood of developing Cancer again in the next 20 years. So to hear at the 5 year appointment that it had returned is just really, really bad luck.


Back to August 2017

All of a sudden the new bike I had be bought to celebrate my Cancer freedom was going to stay in the garage. So in September I had two operations – both very brutal. And 3 months on I am still recovering and back at the beginning of another 5 years of poking and prodding. It’s big blow to my life, my son and my business. I am in a better place than 2012 as I have started to transition my business to the new me but Cancer 2 IS a major interruption!!!!!!! I swear rarely but this is “F***ING NOT FAIR”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both Cancer 1 and Cancer 2 bring amazing moments of clarity / learning which I want to share with you all

·         Many Cancer sufferers do not get up and run a marathon

·         Cancer changes people physically and mentally

·         Cancer has devastating effects on life which are out of your control

·         People need support both during treatment and for a long time after – the operations are just part of the longer recovery

·         Psychological recovery is much longer – but the worry is always there

·         Cancer is easier if you have plenty of support around you

·         The people who step up to support you are not the people who you think

·         Cancer brings new people into your life and also you lose people who just can’t do Cancer

·         Cancer really focusses you on what is important in life

·         Cancer will happen to someone you care about

So I am pleased to leave behind 2017 and move into 2018 despite having to have another 2 operations from March onwards.

In 2017 I have been blessed with some amazing treats that have made my heart sing and have truly helped me stay positive and given me strength

·         The Breast Care Nurses at the Central Lancashire Breast Care Centre

·         So many supportive messages

·         So many online conversations

·         So many fun things and jokes sent to me online

·         The help I had with my dogs (major worry when you are ill)

·         The dog walkers who texted me

·         The weekly lifts I had to hospital appointments

·         The friends who took me to shops

·         The friends who took me to the pub

·         The amazing surprise treats I had including anonymous ones – pamper goodies, cheese, wine, meals out, posh hampers, fruit basket, time with a special friend watching a once in a lifetime Queen and Adam Lambert concert.

All these things give me strength for 2018

Thank you