What does World Cancer Day mean to you?
This was a question we asked on the weekly Tuesday night Breast Cancer Chat WorldWide twitter chat this week. (follow them on twitter @BCCWW).
For me it means charities focusing on all cancers and highlighting that we need support and funding to further research with clinical trials. It means that all charities join together with the #actofunity being a national way to support them (you will find this hashtag on twitter).
Personally 10 years ago it’s the day that my life changed forever.
It’s the day that I found my breast lump.
This is the last photo I have of the night before I found the lump, at our friend’s 40th Birthday party.
Our last photo of life as we knew it before cancer.
I can’t seem to remember normal life before cancer anymore.
It was the first time we had been out since my daughter was born 5 months previous.
It was new beginnings.
We were so happy and full of excitement with love for the two children we always wanted, a boy and a girl. Our perfect little family. The day after this photo, I found my lump by chance whilst in bed by scratching the area and feeling a pea like hard lump. I didn’t tell Jeff, I kept popping into the bedroom at every opportunity and kept having a quick prod and poke at this lump all day.
The next day, Monday I contacted the surgery and found myself having an urgent appointment and the words “it’s a substantial lump” coming from the Doctors mouth was shocking. It was one of the longest days of my life, alone at home and unable to tell anyonw as I wanted to tell Jeff when he got home. I couldn’t tell him over the phone. He didn’t think it was going to be anything. I had had mastitis from breast feeding. Of course it was just going to be something to do with that. (Here is my original blog http://www.abcdiagnosis.co.uk/2013/04/01/who-wants-a-cup-of-tea/ )
Of course, in the back of my mind I was worried. Very worried, and this sick, pit of the stomach feeling, that wouldn’t go away. I had a biopsy on the 8th February – my friend’s son’s birthday. I had a big plaster over the area and was in pain but went to his birthday party. It was sore, and we waited for the results which would be in a week. A whole torturous week with little sleep and too much alcohol to try to make sense of the situation and drown out the word “breast cancer” which was keeping me awake and stopping me from living. A week of waiting and then we were back at the hospital on the 15th February 2007. At the hospital to sit in a room waiting for the consultant to come in and say “I’m sorry you have a little cancer”. Complete shock. To have to go back to my parents who were looking after the children. To tell them that their daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer and see your dad have to lie down as he didn’t feel well and mum sob…
How did this happen? To me? To us?
7 years after my primary diagnosis I was rediagnosed with secondary breast cancer. The incurable one.
So it’s World Cancer Day on Saturday. I will be spending it with my BCCWW friends in London on a tweetup and thinking about the last 10 years.
And thinking about the next few years.
I am now 3 years into my secondary diagnosis with a 3 year average life expectancy.
Hoping I can celebrate my 50th Birthday in 2 years time.
Hoping I can see my son finish secondary school.
Hoping beyond hope that I get to see my daughter finish secondary school.
Please go to the bottom of this blog to find a donation button and if you can give to Cancer Research. Research is the only way that we will ever make a difference with cancer and find solutions with new drugs and treatments to this disease.