This is my facebook Post marking the 12 month mark of my diagnosis with Breast cancer. I am not one for informing the whole world of every little detail of this disease. So much is kept personal and private. Few truly understand the pain of dealing with secondary cancer - really only those who are or have been there themselves know. While I often seem positive and cheery - it takes concerted effort to pick myself up out the the puddles I mention - at times they feel like vast bottomless lakes. Currently I am swimming if not fully dancing again - won't be long though. There is a new drug for Melanoma now available in Australia - they have had nothing for years - if I last long enough - maybe there will be something for me? I just can't ever lose hope and while I am living and still have blood pumping through my hear, I will have hope and try to make every moment count.
12 months on and I am still learning to 'dance with the devil' as the Chinese say.
In the past 12 months I have been disfigured, lost all of my hair, lost my fingernails and toenails, had a throat and oesophagus so ulcerated I couldn't eat and was bleeding internally, had numerous infections, fatigue, chemically induced menopause, delightful digestive symptoms I'm too polite to discuss (!) and I am drugged to the eyeballs 90% of the time.
I still wake up everyday and think "crap! I still have cancer", but then I think - but right now I feel great so 'on we go'.
I am learning to dance in the rain, rather than waiting for the storm to pass. I stumble and fall into the puddles sometimes and it can take me a while to get back up. I nourish my body with good whole foods, I meditate, I try to exercise (!), I love being in my garden, I do the school runs, the homework, parent teacher interviews, reading stories, swimming, music and more - I love being with my kids and Brendan. I live a mostly normal life. I love being a mum and wife. I love spending time with my family and friends. I love creating images and reading good books.
So while I am doing the tango - I try to get the most out of each day.
There is still no cure for breast cancer but this year I will turn 40 and I can't think of anything better to do than celebrate being alive!