“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
I don’t know if I believe in fate or that things happen for a reason. All I know is that my life changed unrecognizably on October 29th 2018.
At the age of 36 and a mum of 2 young kids, I was told I had an aggressive form of breast cancer. I still remember he words…..“the results are not what we hoped” I felt frozen, I couldn’t even cry.
Every year thousands of women face this. They wonder what this means for their family, their kids, their partners, their future? Mothers write letters to their children in their heads, just in case. No mother should ever have to face this but they do. They put of a brave face and deal with the fear, the tiredness, the sickness and try and keep things as normal as possible while their lives are turned upsidown.
I was lucky, my GP was amazing, I wasn’t dismissed as too young to get breast cancer, she got me in to see a surgeon, an oncologist and I had seen them all by the end of the week. A plan was put into place and I had clarity and context. It was early, no lymph nodes were effected and I was straight into chemo the week after. I quickly realized I had very little control over what was to come but I could pick my attitude and how I handled everything. I shaved my hair for charity, caught up with friends for chemo and tried to keep things as normal as possible for my boys.
Fast forward to today and I couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead. We have swapped our house for a caravan and are spending a year doing a lap of Australia. As a family we need to reset, relax and live. In 2018 I was hit with an uncertain future but absolutely nobody has certainty, life is fragile and we can’t change what has passed so we have make the most of what weve got.
Like many women before me who’s lives have been rocked by cancer I feel a huge urge to raise awareness. I have read so many women write that if they can reach one woman and cause her to get an earlier diagnosis then It all will have been for something, and I agree. I have become an Ambassador Candidate for SoBrave. So Brave works specifically to raise awareness for young breast cancer. To educate young women and to raise money to fund research. I did not expect my diagnosis due to my age and I’m by no means the youngest hit by this disease.
I have created my Instagram to help this cause but also to reach people facing a similar diagnosis and let them know they can get through it. I want young women to check themselves and be vidulant because cancer does not discriminate. But most of all I want to celebrate life.
Cancer is a metamorphosis, there is no going back to who you were before. It not just physically but also emotionally. I look at old photos of me and see a kind of innocence, unsuspecting and unaware of what lay ahead. I have come out the other side with a whole new set of priorities and although it sounds cliched, a whole new lease on life. Life after cancer isnt always going to be easy but I’m going to make sure it’s about family, travel and adventure!