I am at the age where there are certain things you need to start doing, assuming you haven’t been doing them already. On that basis I try to get plenty of exercise. I try to eat at least 5 fruit and vegetables per day. I try to maintain a healthy BMI, always a struggle but I am doing it.
But one thing I have not been doing is checking my breasts for lumps on a regular basis. And guess what? I have found one. It feels like the shape and texture of a rubber ball.
Statistically, it is probably not cancer but if it does turn out to be I will have to live or die with the knowledge that I would have located this lump much earlier if I had been checking my breasts like we are supposed to.
I swim twice a week and love it. I often look at the older women in the pool and think, I’ll be like them, still swimming and actively enjoying life because I look after my body.
Unfortunately cancer does not respect lifestyle choices. It does not care that I have two children who need me alive and well.
Perhaps it is understandable that when we have so much to lose we fear the worst, I do. I fear that I will not see my boys grow up. I fear that my husband will be left alone to cope. I fear that all my plans for the future are now going to be absorbed by pain, surgery, chemo, misery and potentially death.
I know I should be keeping positive and looking on the bright side, well worn clichés but with so much truth and good sense contained.
Like the foolish man in the proverb, I have been building my house, making my home and my life on the assumption that it is mine and under my control and management. In truth we have no entitlement to any of these things. I may have cancer, I may not. I may live, I may die but none of this is within my control. All I can control is my reaction to what happens next.
What happens next is that I am waiting for my urgent referral to the breast clinic to come in the post.
I know I will face what happens next with courage, but right now I reserve the right to feel scared and to feel how much I love my life and love my boys, and love my husband, and my family and my friends and my dog.
That intense love for life is the source of my distress, but it also means that I can endure anything that I need to endure to preserve it.
Endurance rather than optimism may serve me better when it comes to what happens next and that is a trait that I have in abundance.