8 months passed the treatment

Posted by belmckenna on 19 Feb 2014, 08:10AM

I read the wonderful messages about how different life is for people after battling the cancer experience, and I decided to put my thoughts down, because we are all different.

I had a year away from life last year, from October the year before and was quite surprised how "normal" life still has been.  I am still me, and my life still presents itself the same as I approach my 48th birthday.  I went back to work a few months ago, to discover my job was not longer there, but they have kindly slotted me into a 20 hour a week, lunch-time shift.  Upon return to work there were mixed reactions, mostly they were fantastic and have been supportive or welcoming.  I did have a major issue with 2  staff members, but it has been sorted out and Im reluctant to discuss it.

I am busy regardless of the lack of income, which hasnt helped us after a year of such expense, with studying and was relieved that after a few months my memory has returned and I am remembering.  The study is not an added expense, its a traineeship via work.

I have found that my new friends and the time dealing with Cancer has created the most support and friendshps I have had in years and that I will always appreciate.

I try to go for a half hour walk every second day, or each day if weather permits, and regularly do my pilates DVD provided by the My Journey Kit.

I have joinded the BCNA, my first time going to meetings, and our next one here in Launceston is this Saturday.

Have a small group of Haircutting Clients, who are also the medical staff, support staff, or new friends acquired via the BC time.  Great to get back into hairdressing as a mobile hairdresser.

I havent changed at all, and returned to my normal personality.  I am a little more jaded I think, but keep my head focused on one day at a time, dont think about getting it back, dont worry about whay may happen, and as time goes by, forgetting the details of the year I found out I was a Triple Negative Breast Cancer patient.

Paid my $20 to the Cancer Council and am going in the "Relay for Life" in March.

Hang in there every one, I wish you all well, and I do still have a look to see how you are, when time permits!

Love Bel


Hi Bel

Robyn W's picture

I enjoyed reading your post very much.The part that I can relate to,is that " as time goes by,forgetting the details" because in the very beginning,BC becomes your world! I am 2 months and 2 days past my chemo,and I only have to take Tamoxifen,which is such a small price to pay for ongoing health.Already I am finding that my life is slowly returning to normal.I don't worry about my hair any more,or about only having one breast.And I think to,that the people around us return to doing what they did before we got BC,which is just fine by me :) For me,the good thing that came out of having BC is that now I take time to do things that I want to do ,not just doing for everyone else.And I know for sure,that this change will be with me forever:) All the best Bel.Dont stop posting on here,cause I am sure that everyone loves to read your posts.Cheers Robyn.xoxo

He Bel

Bearteggie's picture

I love your profile photo.  You look gorgeous.  Thank you for sharing your experience with us and I am glad that your life has returned to normal and you are feeling stronger and happier.  All the very best with your hairdressing and look forward to hearing more from you in the future when you have time.



Thank you Bel

mandycoop's picture

Thank you for taking the time to post how things are going for you. As I'm smack bang in the middle of chemo it feels like life will never get back to any sort of normality. You certainly have given me hope that it will.
I'm happy that things are slowly working out for you and that life is good.
Mandy xxx

Hi Bel..

Christine Marie's picture

You look fantastic:) I have enjoyed reading your posts & I'm really happy that your life has returned to Normal again..You are an inspiration to everyone here..keep smiling & all the best to you :) big((hugs)) Christine:) xox

Decide to expect you will be ok at the other side

belmckenna's picture

I didnt care what type of cancer I had, or the technical details, I left that to the people who had spent all those years at Uni to know all of that.  I had the initial reaction of panic, fear, and devastation.  We get so self involved in the unknown, and the fear, it is simply an overwhelming event that no one can ever be prepared for.  Soon after I began chemo I got the slap in the face realisation that at a Conference of 200 women, most had more than one experience.  I recall thinking, give me a break, this is my first, I am having enough trouble coping with the first time.  I got very fussy headed during chemo, and hated the side effects, avoided the public because I didnt want to catch anything extra, and prepared all my own food, not trusting of others hygiene.  At times I got frustrated and at times I cried and felt sorry for myself.  Most of the time I just couldnt believe I had been removed from my life at a stage I felt well, and was totally unprepared for any of it.  For awhile I got caught up with wanting to know what percentage of a chance did I have to survive, and realise after awhile that no one had a crystal ball.  I was exhausted at the end of it and was very grateful to have had that year off, with lots of afternoon sleeps right up until the 11th month.  The warning of people who push themselves through can relapse at the end, has been well demonstrated via a close friend of mine who is currently struggling.  Mind you I went back to a 20 hour a week, basic job, and she is in a demanding 50 hr a week management position.  Rest, and pace yourself, or it will rebound down the track.  Going back to work has had its own struggles, its not all open arms and understanding by every-one, but in time, we adjust.  (hopefully you will still have a job at the end of it.)  I have decided to not focus on "What if it comes back" anymore, and to live the rest of my life as I did before, career focused, busy, and lots of things to do!  They say our mental attitude is as important as our diet is.  As a message to those who havent had a lucky time, or are struggling on an off day, or didnt get good news, I am mindful that cheeriness can annoy people at times, and I respect that too.  I understand that this post isnt every ones story, I do know however, it is only mine.  Love Bel  after all, it is human nature to fight til the end.......



  • Name:  Mrs Belinda McKenna
  • Gender:  Female
  • Marital status:  Married
  • About:  20 years of hairdressing, then 5 years as a Pharmacy Assistant. Married for 7 years. Now Cancer Free. Moving to Sydney Jan 2015

My diagnosis

  • Breast cancer experience: 
    I have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Diagnosis type: 
    Early Breast Cancer
  • Diagnosis date:  15/10/2012


  • Hobbies: 
    Craft activities, Fitness and sports, Reading
  • Breast cancer-related interests: 
    Workplace and career, Medical research

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