STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness I get by with a little help from my friends It’s been over a year since the whole cancer journey started and I’m aware I haven’t blogged for a while. In fact, last time I wrote a blog I was struggling to get my head around chemo finishing and how to get my life back on track. What a difference a few months makes! I am over the post chemo slump and have come soaring out the other side. I thought about it and decided if someone was drowning you wouldn’t tell them to keep swimming, you’d pull them out of the water. So thats what I did. I arranged childcare for the children and booked a flight on my own to my childhood home of Singapore to stay with my best friend. It was the best thing I could have done. As soon as I arrived at the airport I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I had no responsibilities, no school runs, no hospital appointments. I didn’t have to think about anyone else or the impact my illness was having on them. It was just me, my best friend, my brother, prosecco and sunshine. I know running away from your problems may not be the best advice but it really worked for me. I just needed the time for me, to mentally process everything that had gone on. I could unload everything onto Sarah, get my thoughts out and start to piece things back together. And doing that in the sunshine just made it even better! When I came back I felt stronger, I felt like myself again. I felt ready to crack on with life. I went skiing. I spent more quality time with the children. I had a few too many boozy nights out. All in all Ive crammed more into the first 3 months of this year than I did in the whole of the last 3 years. The last few weeks have been a great time to reflect as I’ve been back up the hospital for my 6 monthly zolodronic acid as well as pre op assessment for the second stage of my reconstruction. Feels strange that its all taking place almost exactly a year after the first one. Although the zolodronic acid was given in the chemo bay, it couldn’t have felt more different. I sat next to the cold cap without the sickening feeling in my stomach about the hell I was about to endure for the next 3 hours. My pre op assessment felt much more relaxed as there was no discussions about lymph nodes and metastatic cancer. I feel like a bit of a fraud. I feel like I’m betraying the girl that was walking these same halls the year before. After every visit back to the cancer centre I feel totally drained, not from the treatment but from the memories. But after a day to recover I’m back to normal. That didn’t happen during chemo! A year ago I didn’t think I’d ever feel like this again. Back to Myself. I have the odd day when it all hits me like a ton of bricks and I feel like I’m back in the hell that was 2016, but on the whole I feel great. The one thing I wanted when I was diagnosed with cancer was to be able to look back in times to come and be grateful for the hand I’d been dealt. To get something positive for the experience. And I can safely say I’ve done that and then some. I had messages from people who found my blog useful. The press coverage around my cancer battle raised awareness for kicks count. I’ve become much less precious and self conscious of my body. I spend more time valuing the people in my life, rather than the things. I didnt think I’d say this after a year, but I’m glad I’ve gone through what I have. Wouldn’t want to bloody do it again! But to be where I am now, I wouldn’t change a thing.