I managed to travel to my brother’s for his birthday bbq on Saturday – I love my family. Was so good to see everyone. I was absolutely totally shattered though and I didn’t actually do much except eat and speak! Couldn’t even imagine driving that distance on my own anymore (it’s only an hour away), but my right arm aches like hell and goes really dead – lucky Phil likes driving. It’s not too bad when I’m moving about but when I’m stuck in the same position or just sitting around, arghhh! Night times are the worst. Not sure if it’s from the operation or a side effect of the tamoxifen but I think it’s something I’m going to have to get used to!
Saw loads of people that hadn’t seen me for a year or more – so lucky I’m not so dead and scary looking now. I actually look more like me – just a bit like a boy now. But everyone says I’m looking good – I suppose compared to what I did look like a few months ago!
A lot of people asked how I had felt when first diagnosed with breast cancer and how they couldn’t imagine the devastation. It’s human nature to compare your experience to something similar they have been through themselves, or to put themselves in your position – especially if they have children too. I have found that people cry a lot – it’s emotional stuff – makes me cry back though! I’ve heard lots of stories now, but no ones story is the same, there’s no right or wrong way of doing cancer. I’m not brave, I have just coped as best as I know how and that’s with a smile! What’s the point in being miserable and making everyone around you miserable. I love making people smile, it makes me happy and it’s contagious – try it! – it’s my thing and why should cancer change that?
So I’ll try and explain in short. It’s like your whole world is an avalanche and comes crashing down around you and you have absolutely no control over it. You feel sick and shake and your first thought is “OMG I’m going to die and I’m not going to see my children grow up and there’s still loads of stuff I haven’t done and want to and how the hell is Phil and kids going to cope without me, and I really must sort out my loft as it’s full of crap! etc etc”. Your mind goes super crazy for a bit (just a bit). Then the failsafe kicks in and you calm and tell yourself ‘it could have been far worse’, cancer is like a second chance for a bit, and you just deal with it – you have to – hour by hour, day by day, trying to be as positive and honest as possible and just work though everything and hope for the best. I suppose that’s all we can do, hope!
I don’t sleep well at all now and I try not to worry but it’s difficult. My mind always was a bit crazy, now it’s worse. I’ve gone through so much and the cancer has been cut out which helps my mind. But the dread of it returning – every lump and bump, ache and pain. I’m also finding the odd boob thing very difficult in so many ways – the look, feel, pain, balance, everything – I hate odd and mix that in with worry too! If I could choose to have the other boob removed I would – even knowing all the risks. We will see what my dr says.
I know I need to calm and just be thankful for every single day I have on this planet and just make the most of everything without thinking too much about what the future holds. It’s difficult when you’re a person that likes to plan. But believe me I am so grateful for every second now.
So I have got to a place where I can start looking to the future a bit more (not as much as I did before). I want to cram a lot into my life and create memories and moments with Phil and the kids and my family. Cancer makes you look at your life and value it so much. But now, more than ever, every single little moment matters. Freya has just kissed me goodnight – she does this every night now – it means so much. Just walking to the shops with Lewis, or helping Nathan feed the animals, me and Phil watching TV in bed, walking the dogs together and Clover snuggles (altho she is more like a skunk tonight rather than a cocker spaniel so only got a quick cuddle!) I am so lucky to be here.
Baby bunnies help! Freya’s going to have to persuade her dad though!
On a positive note, we’ve booked a holiday! We’re off to Turkey for a week of all inclusive eating, swimming, reading, resting, family time together! All thanks to my friend Jane and the village with their fundraising for us. We are so excited! Ready to create some fab ‘Britten’ memories together.
And for the future – next year I want to organise a Charity Ball to help raise some money for Colchester Hospital for their new Cancer unit and give something back! Shopping for pretty dresses! But will also be calling for lots of help organising this one, and lots of donations. Keep posted!
Plus I want to tattoo the new boob! Working on designs and starting to research but need to wait a while for this.
Other than that just day by day……… I love my life x