When I was little I wanted to go to the moon - Abigail Goswell

Hello, and welcome to this my first article for the Jennifer Young website. I am really pleased to be here to share my story and some snapshots of my life living with stage four breast cancer. Before I get in to the detail of life with incurable cancer I would like to introduce myself. It’s sometimes hard to remember the me that was the me before cancer, but this seems like a really good opportunity to do just that. My name is Abigail Goswell and I am 46 years old. I live in Hertfordshire next to the Grand Union canal. I guess my childhood was quite unusual; I was born in the Middle East in the early 1970s and we travelled a lot during my first ten years. Then when education became a bit more of a priority, I went to boarding school in England for seven years. I left school at 16 with a very average quota of GCSEs and A levels. My family is the thing I love the most in life. My parents have been married over 50 years and I have an elder sister. When we were young my sister and I were best friends, it was important to have an ally when we moved a lot and kept going to new schools. Once we got a bit older it’s fair to say we didn’t really get on (I just wasn’t cool enough for her) but that season has passed and we are now the closest we have ever been.

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school, so I did a Business Studies degree knowing it was the sensible and vocational option. I loved my time at university and made some of the very best and lifelong friends. I managed to fit in a little bit of study in between having a whole lot of fun. At some point during the four year course I figured that people are an organisation’s most important asset, and so when I graduated I set off to find a career in Human Resources. I have subsequently spent over twenty years working in HR in various organisations from large to small, from national to global, from fun to not so fun in lots of different sectors. I still have lots of secrets and know where the skeletons are

. My career was somewhat all encompassing during my twenties and thirties, but that aside, here are some of the things I love. Unlike most people, I really like flying. The longer and further the better. I guess this comes from a childhood spent on airplanes and an early installation of the desire to travel and see the world. When I was little I wanted to go to the moon. Actually, I still do. I prefer to be outdoors than indoors, you will often find me walking on the tow path or wondering around the woods. If I really have to be inside, I will be the person nearest the open window. I love to celebrate birthdays, anybody’s birthday is exciting to me and my own celebrations normally last at least a few weeks. I love animals. I have a slightly odd and hard to describe taste in music, but “good” music hits me somewhere in the solar plexus. Time spent with my friends and family is my favourite time of all and it will normally include wine and cake. Nearly always cake. I love flowers, particularly peonies. I also get very excited by lotions and potions and new beauty products. I have spent nearly 40 years trying to find the perfect lipstick. Still looking. So, up until my cancer diagnosis a few years ago, I really had nothing at all to complain about and recognised that I was very lucky to be part of such a special family and a great group of friends and regularly counted my blessings. I will write next time about how my life has changed since the diagnosis and how I do my very best to make sure that the good things stay the same. ‘Til next time. Big Love, AG October 2019 You can find out more via my blog: Abigail's blah blah blog

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