I started writing these letters a few days after finding a lump in my breast on the 19th September 2015.
11 days later I had a diagnosis of cancer and the carousel of treatment began. Surgery, chemo and radiotherapy.
My active treatment finished in June 2016. For the next 6 months I was kept afloat by the euphoria of finishing treatment. The next period of time was marked by confusion, repressed sadness, anger and eventually the beginning of acceptance and recovery.
Later that year having seen a psychologist for about a year I began what I believe to be the final stage in my recovery -weight loss.
I have now lost 2 stone which takes me to a healthy weight and one I feel happy with. I feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m getting to know the stranger in the mirror.
And who is she? Well she is neither sad nor ecstatic. She is still in essence me although changed in so many ways.
So there are the obvious physical changes. They are not too bad. I am lucky.
Emotionally- I understand that resilience comes from letting pain in…not trying to fight it or ignore it or hide from it. You have to surrender to it.
Mentally- I have learned that I am strong. But strength comes from adapting not resisting.
I am more compassionate but also less. I have no time for ridiculous things. life is short and the clock is still ticking.
I woke up this morning feeling full of hope and happy. Looking forward to getting on with my day and full of plans. I think this might be as good as it gets and that would be just fine.
My risk of recurrence is still as high as it was post treatment. But my fear of it is much reduced.
So I think this is finally it, where I sign off.