STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness Back to life Finishing chemo had been a bit of an anti-climax as I didn’t really know when I was finished. The infusions were done but how long would the side effects last? They could last a few days, a few weeks or even months so there was no definitive end date. It just all fizzled out. The chemo ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. Fortunately the side effects this time were mild. Not being able to move from the sofa came as standard but pains were minimal and there was no sickness. The kids were so delighted Mummy wasn’t going to be sick anymore we spent a lot of time snuggling on the sofa watching Modern family marathons! It was the psychological effects that took the most toll. Since 1st March when I found the lump I’ve been focused on getting through this. There has always been something else to get through. I was determined. Head strong. Fighting. But now it was all done there was nothing to fight anymore. Lying on the sofa for days with no reason to stay strong, things started to sink in. Shit. I got Cancer. Suddenly the words meant something different now. It was starting to hit home that all the things that have happened over the last 6 months had happened to me. ME. It had felt like an out of body experience most of the time. Just getting to the next milestone. But now I could reflect. And there was far too much time to reflect. I so desperately wanted to get up and get on with things, not sit and wallow about something that was now hopefully over. I interspersed reflecting on cancer with reflecting on my life in general. What was important to me? How much time was I wasting on things that didn’t matter to me? What was I neglecting in my life? I realised the things that mattered to me were Kicks Count, family and friends (in no particular order!) Having taken a step back from the charity during treatment, my passion behind kicks count was reignited when, just before my last chemo session, my dear friend tragically lost her baby boy. Being back in that world, even only as a visitor, I felt the pain all over again. The pictures, the house full of flowers, the tears, it all reminded me how horrific stillbirth is. I may have been lying in pain but it was physical pain, a walk in the park compared to that emotional pain. It fired me up and made me feel like I could conquer the world, save even more lives! But I had a mind full of ideas and a body that just wouldn’t let me do anything about it. The frustration was indescribable. I knew it would pass and I would be able to do these things eventually but now it just added to the wallowing. Luckily within two weeks of finishing chemo my body started to co-operate. In small doses. I still had to limit myself as the docetaxol legs gave me a lot of pain if I did too much. And my energy levels were still low. But finally we were here. I’d made it. I could crack on with what I’d spent the last 36 years taking for granted and the last 6 months dreaming about. Life.