It’s been an incredible, life-changing 9 months but after 2 major surgeries, 6 months of intensive chemo and 20 sessions of radiotherapy I am finally done with my treatment for breast cancer and I can hardly believe it. I get my life back only now I will live every day in gratitude and joy for the days I wouldn’t have had without our wonderful, brilliant NHS.
If you follow this blog then you will know that my diagnosis couldn’t have happened at a worse time not just in my life but in my families life.
I was diagnosed on 13th July 2021 – the week of my sons wedding.
The week my mum had had a stroke and been diagnosed with dementia.
Two weeks after I’d moved in with my parents to care for my dad as he faced end-of-life treatment for heart failure.
Looking back I have no idea how I coped emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s at times like that, that you find out who is around and I was overwhelmed with love and support from immediate family but also from a wider circle that I never even knew existed. Readers of my books, my ex-husband and his family, an online network of writers, friends I had known since childhood but who I hadn’t really stayed in touch with. Every single day there were flowers delivered, books, care packages – it was humbling, I felt so grateful. I still feel grateful. Thank you if you are one of those people, you saved my life and my sanity.
We lost my dad in December 2021, but my God did he fight to stay with us. When I delivered his eulogy I promised him I would ring the ‘end of treatment’ bell twice as loud but unfortunately it’s no longer there (thanks Covid) so I will find some other way to celebrate. I know he’s with me every day and I know he will be incredibly proud of me. He’ll also be laughing at the buzz cut I’m currently rocking as my hair grows back.
Thank you dad for instilling courage in me, and demonstrating it with such perceived ease as you went through your own treatment and illness – I felt you with me every step of the way. I promise you now that I will live life to the fullest, travel often and only eat good food!