Cancer and other stuff


People often say they are amazed at how well I seem to be dealing with things and largely I surprise myself too. It’s the weirdest thing – anyone who’s been through any kind of trauma will tell you, you don’t really know what you’re capable of until you’re dealt a crappy hand. It’s not like you go ‘hmmm. I’m going to actively choose to be brave, and strong’, you just have to be. You can either collapse in a heap or crack on and for me that’s no kind of viable choice. It just is, you just do.

I don’t really know how I feel day to day at the moment – sometimes I can almost forget what’s going on, and that little fluffy cloud I talked about in an earlier post is barely a puff on the horizon. I think this is a good thing, my goal right from
the start has been to learn to live with my condition. I have to live and be alive and be grateful and happy. And most days and weeks, I truly truly am and I’m so pleased to have been given this gift of perspective, even if it’s come with a big fat sting in the tail.

This month is going to be a weird one and I’m facing a pretty heavy duty medical week quite soon. Last week I had an MRI on my ‘good’ boob. For those who don’t know, I have a faulty BRCA1 gene. You’ve all got one, it stops cancer cells starting to grow, mine’s just a bit wonky and doesn’t work properly so it explains why I’ve had breast cancer twice in 6 months (bit of a Eureka moment for my docs there). Because my risk for BC is pretty high, the initial plan was to say bye bye to both boobs before the little bugger showed itself in the other one which is possibly more likely than not. That was supposed to happen in September but the lung thing put paid to that. So rather than have any more what is quite major surgery (they cut your back open and drag a big muscle round to the front to make a Roboboob, it’s very clever), we just need to keep a major eye on poor little boob hence a yearly spin in the ravey washing machine (all bleeps, clicks and vibrating). The results of this are due on 18th and as much as I’m doing the ‘think positive’ thing, I have to admit to feeling a bit shaky about it. It can be a bit of a mental battle to ‘think positive’ when you’re battered with bad news (“your cancer has come back, you’ve got a faulty gene, oh and now it’s moved to your lungs, whoopsie” – all within 3 months). So whilst, technically, it should be OK, waiting for test results is bloody hideous and I have a bit of a heavy heart right now. In addition, the same week I have my next lung scan and I can’t even tell you how scary that is even though the first scan was good. The problem is that that will change apparently one day and the news will starting getting less good (I say ‘apparently’, it’s my disclaimer in case I do a Lance Armstrong).

Anyway I’ve rambled a bit but I guess what I’m saying is that if I’m a bit quiet lately it’s cos I’m trying to keep an internal lid on being frightened and to deal with fear in a calm, logical way, and not let the little shit overwhelm me which it can do quite easily when you have lots of hospital bobbins to deal with (bobbins, best word ever). In the meantime, I’m off to Tel-Aviv tomorrow for a break and some fun with my very cool Israeli friends which I think will set me up for when I get back. I know I have lots of people rooting for me and I hope to be able to report back with some big thumbs-up in the next couple of weeks.

Please also say a prayer for my lovely friend Laura who is also facing some scary tests the same week on new baby Wood who is due to join us in the summer, and whose beautiful little brother Stanley tragically and very suddenly passed away last year when he was just a teeny tiny man with no warning that anything was wrong. I know she would appreciate those prayers. Like me, she and husband Gordon face an immense mental and psychological battle over the coming months but if there is anyone who can do it, she can. I am constantly amazed and inspired by her. Go girlfriend xx


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