It’s two years since Ross and I were ushered into a room and told I had breast cancer. I can’t remember the exact words that were used. All I know is that a bomb went off that day and we’ve been feeling the effects of that explosion since.
It’s been quite hard having my Cancerversary in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as it’s everywhere. I’m constantly being reminded of how devastating it is. But…without that awareness how many more women will die from the disease?
I will reiterate a point I’ve made before, breast cancer is not pink, nor fluffy, nor is it one of the “best ones” to get. It kills. Even the “lucky” ones don’t come out unscathed. The treatments that are life saving, are also life changing. Many of us have to deal with fatigue which is more than just feeling a bit tired. It’s waking in the morning after 8 hours sleep and feeling like you could roll over and sleep for a week. It’s the constant feeling of having to pull against the crushing force of gravity just to get off the sofa. It’s the feeling that you’d love to do something, make plans, but when it comes to it, just wanting a nap instead.
And then there’s the medication which interferes with your hormones. I’ve got 8 more years of hot flushes and mood swings to contend with. Poor Ross will wake up in the night, in the dead of winter, and find the bedroom windows wide open just so I can sleep comfortably, whilst having night sweats.
Then you’ve got the scars. Whereas once I just had a few stretch marks from being pregnant, I now have a wide array of scars in varying sizes, from 5mm to 30cm. I don’t look upon them as being ugly, but rather as way markers from the path I’ve walked to get me to where I am today.
Have I mentioned the memory loss? It’s very frustrating for someone that had the memory of an elephant to now not have the capacity to remember the 3 things I needed to get from the shop. It’s changed the way Ross remembers things too. He would just ask me where something was. That’s no longer reliable!
I’m lucky, I’m Cancer free. I get to walk my kids to school everyday, help with their homework, watch them play rugby, all normal things that maybe once I took for granted. But everyday I have the cloud hanging over me that it’ll return. I have to deal with a vast array of “what if’s” that are, quite frankly, terrifying. I’ve even discussed my funeral with Ross. Not something you normally think about in your 30s.
So, what is my point after all this rambling on? Check your boobs. If you think something isn’t right, go to your GP. Get thinks checked by the professionals. If you think you are being fobbed off, ask for a referral to the breast clinic. Don’t just do nothing. It’s important.
Oh, and Ross? He’s amazing. He’s had to run Team Lawley on his own on more than one occasion, and has done a magnificent job. ❤