I used to think that I was a fortress, unbreakable, strong, one of those ‘don’t mess with women’ who didn’t always come across as an easy person, someone who was ‘better for knowing’. It’s hard to explain how broken I was during my time of treatment for Breast Cancer, I lurched from treatment to treatment, through hair-loss, metal mouth, skin that just wouldn’t behave & yet still I carried on, went to work when I could and tried not to scare those around me when my wig got so itchy it sat next to me in coffee shops, meetings and on the passenger seat of the car. Did I also mention my 18-year-old marriage was falling apart at the same time – double whammy!!
All those events from September 2016 to my new boobie surgery in March 2017, and beyond, Herceptin injections and final hospital appointments, were in fact the blanket that held me together. It was afterwards, when everything stopped, where I began to feel the safety net unravel and the trap door open, the fall was immense. I can’t explain how it feels when it’s all over, elation that it is all over is supposed to leave you ecstatic.
Thing is, it didn’t for me……. Tamoxifen for 10 years, what is it comes back, how do I deal with it if it comes back…. Why can’t I have a mammogram every 5 minutes? Why can’t I scream from the rooftops that it’s over, but I am still here with the oddest feelings and possibly some form of PTSD.
Little things take my breath away still…….. episodes of Cold Feet on ITV, being approached in the street to join the Breast Cancer Lottery Fund, Adverts on TV for Macmillan Cancer Support and Race for Life. I need to catch my breath when these events hit me. I think it’s the relief that I am still here, I got through it, and what a battle it was.
The feelings of being cut loose from my mooring, floating off into unchartered waters with not much of a compass, overwhelm me on occasion. So if like me you find it hard sometimes and you are having your breath taken away, usually at the most inopportune moments, know that you are not the only one feeling like this….. but you are still here, and the ocean is a big one but it leads to new adventures and far off shores where new experiences await…… Feel free to ask me anything, Juliet To read Juliet's other blogs click here