Jun 6, 2016

I temporarily have cancer.



I've thought long and hard about whether I should write about this or not, but being a writer, it would be kind of weird not to. I don't want to dwell on it or give it too much attention, but it has happened and I think writing about it is my natural way to process it. I also don't want to have to keep telling people over and over again. It's been hard enough breaking it to those people close to me and I just don't want to have to keep saying those words.

A little while ago I found a lump in my left breast, I was in bed and we were watching TV. For some reason I was randomly feeling my boobs (Thank God!) and came across a hard lump. My boobs are generally quite lumpy and after pregnancy and breast feeding all the nice boob part has kind of gone away and I was left with what most women after children are left with, as I like to call it 'the deflated boob' and as I'm pretty skinny, you can feel normal lumpy bits more so than if I had nice big full ones. This lump was different though, it was rock hard.

I went for an ultrasound on the lump in my breast and the Doctor doing the ultrasound said it was almost definitely a fibroadenoma, (a usually completely harmless, hardened piece of breast tissue.) Which is what the report came back saying. Typical of fibroadenoma.

I went for a biopsy anyway, as I have been on the pill for a long time and they said I could if I wanted. Even the Doctor doing the fine needle biopsy said it looked just like a 'breast mouse' (the nickname for a fibroadenoma) as it was jumping around all over the place, it didn't look like a tumour as they usually just grow in one place and don't move around.
I spent almost no time worrying about this, I honestly thought it was just a hard lump and so did everybody else.


I found out last week the results of my biopsy were 'highly suspicious' of cancer. On hearing these words I broke down and so did my partner, who had thankfully come home from work to attend the Doctors appointment with me. It was a massive fucking shock to say the least.

After initially breaking down and crying for a while, I managed to convince myself that 'highly suspicious' wasn't actually cancer, so I wasn't going to spend all week worrying about it.

I was sent for a core biopsy where they took three samples of tissue from the lump.

The results came back confirming it was cancer.

It's not what anyone wants to hear obviously. I cried a lot and screamed 'FUUUCKKKK' into the air a couple of times. Of course, every horrible thought imaginable went through my mind. But I won't talk about that because it's not worth it. I won't spend a minute thinking those things because there's no point. Once I got over the initial shock  I  decided that no matter what, I can and will beat this.

I went home and ate a bowl of broccoli, potatoes, garlic and onion. I need my strength and I'll be eating every type of cancer fighting foods I can get my hands on. So far I've made turmeric drinks, spinach smoothies and I'm trying to eat a lot more than I usually do. I'll be focusing all of my energy on being positive, grateful for my health, grateful for all the amazing people and support and love in my life.

Man, I am honestly so lucky. I have two beautiful children, a loving and supportive partner, my sister and her family and my parents. Not to mention amazing friends who have already helped out so much, emotionally and with general stuff. One of my closest friends came straight over, as soon as she heard, sat and chatted with me, cleaned my kitchen and folded my washing. My friend in Cairns, has spent hours on the phone with me, telling me about all the alternative treatments and about our plans for after the treatment. (We've always talked about going to Aruba to do a yoga workshop with Rachel Brathen aka Yoga Girl and frolic amongst the flamingoes!) It's support like that that gives me the strength to say, fuck yeah, I got this.

I will learn from it and help anyone else I can with it. I will appreciate every second of life and never take anything else for granted again.

Of course it was shitty news but it was kind of a great weekend too. I took the time to just be, to play with the kids and be really present in the moment. Craig went to the shops and bought us a whole heap of arts and crafts and we spent the day making papier mache things with the kids. My sister came over with a hamper of goodies and we lazed around and I counted all my blessings, how much I have to live for, to fight for and to enjoy.

After receiving the second biopsy results on Friday evening, I went back to the Doctors today and they referred me to the hospital, the hospital got me an appointment at 2pm, so quickly, which I was so grateful for. When I spoke to the Doctor and the surgeon at the breast clinic, they couldn't have been nicer. They were both so positive and helpful and reassuring. After that consultation I went through to another room where two nurses went through some forms with me, they too were absolutely amazing, so kind and lovely. The whole process was quick and easy but also so thorough, the support they offer is fantastic, from counselling, to pre-admission surgery days and referrals to dieticians, physiotherapists, anything you need.

I am honestly so grateful for that, the technology, the treatments, the Doctors and the amazing hospitals. I left there feeling so much calmer, even more hopeful and positive.

I've always had this faith that I was put here to do something big. I'm always going on about it to the annoyance of my friends! I thought it may have been something to do with art, to inspire people to eat healthy, organic food, have a published book and go on book tours...

But who knows, it could be bigger than that, it could be something to do with this. Life throws things at you to make you stronger. Experiencing pain makes you appreciate the happier times and feel the happier times so much more. We have to grow as people and I realise how much I thought I knew about life but there's so much more, so much more growing I need to do as a person.

As well as going to Aruba with my bestie, there's hundreds of things I want to do. Most of which include teaching my children things, encouraging them to become the best versions of themselves, to be happy, to show them new places and experience life and the world together and give them an amazing life. I'd love to have more kids one day, a wedding.... and I want to be there for my kids when they have their own children.

I also can't wait to take them to see Matilda at the theatre in Brisbane in November. It's one of their favourite movies and I know they will absolutely adore the whole experience of seeing it live!!

The list goes on and on ......

I will get rid of this and live an amazing life.

Please don't feel sorry for me, I promise I will be okay. But do me a favour, just go and check your boobs, check your partners boobs, check them all the time. Make your health your number one priority and be grateful for everyone and everything in your life.


To everyone who has given me support through this time, I appreciate it more than you will ever know. Love is everywhere and 'all you need is love'.

You didn't think I'd finish this up without a Beatles quote did you?

xxxx






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2 comments

  1. Wow. I'm almost stuck for words.

    Your blog and art page is brilliant. Maz told me about your situation and wanted to say hi.
    I'm so sorry you've had to go through this stuff. So proud of how strong you're being, you always were stubborn :)

    Here's to a speedy recovery, next time you come home to the UK drinks/coffee is on me :)

    X

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  2. So sorry to hear this.

    I've spent the last couple of days reading your blog and art page. You've made some beautiful paintings/photos... Always knew you'd be a creative genius !

    So proud of how well you're doing and how strong you are mentally. You will become stronger from this and a better person. I hope your family are all ok and I'm sure your kids will bring you much happiness and pleasure each and every day.

    Stay in touch, always here for a chin wag when you need an old friend. You'll be in my thoughts, here's to a speedy recovery X

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