It's very hard to put into words how having breast cancer has made me feel.
I feel a little like they cut a little piece of me away when they cut out my lump.
That little piece may have been my tolerance, I have less patience with people's moaning about the things they have the power to change.
That little piece may be part of my identity, sometimes I feel like all people want to ask is how the treatment is going, and I know that they mean well, but sometimes I would like to talk about something else.
That little piece sometimes feels like the friend I was, when people try to protect me from their dramas (because it's nothing compared to what I'm going through?!?) it doesn't matter how big or small the problems you are facing are, a problem shared is a problem halved and all that.... Please talk to me!! You know,sometimes it's nice to know that other people are having a tough time too (not that I want anyone else to have a rubbish time) but then I don't feel so isolated and alone.
That little piece is sometimes my confidence. Chemo steroid weight gain, scars, bloating, baldness, eyelashless, ruined nails, more scars.... I will never look in the mirror and see myself, but now see a new person who I am learning to love. I know my hair will grow and my scars will fade, but right here, right now, it's hard to look at my reflection.
That little piece is sometimes my energy, just making it through the school run, a hospital visit, a few hours work, and I'm completely wiped out!
But, in the little pieces I have lost, I feel there is so much more I have to give, and so much that I have gained.
The strength my family and friends have shown has blown me away.
The support my colleagues have given is phenomenal! Planning nice gifts, collecting well wishes from our clients and saving them for my "bad day" each cycle, creating a box of sunshine (filled with anything yellow and sunny.... Anything from mustard to sand?!? Ha ha)
They say in times of trouble you learn who your friends are, my diagnosis has shown me that people are kinder than I could have imagined and care more than I realised.
It will take a long time to find that little piece of me that I feel I have lost, but with my husband at my side and my friends and family behind me, I know I will get there.
Thank you x