Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Breast cancer awareness month: Ready or not

Author: Anonymous

I remember my breast nurse taking me by the hand, she looked me directly in the eye and said "You are about to have the worst 12 months of your life so far, you are about to put your body through hell, so be prepared."

She forgot about my mind , she forgot to mention my mind.

I was ready, like a boxer tying the strings on their gloves and boots, bring it on I said, fucking hit me. Fucking hit me as hard as you can, just make it go away. Nothing is taking me from my children, hit it as hard as you fucking can. Fucking bring it on. Get in the fucking ring. ( I had also developed a potty mouth but fuck it I was angry). I was well and truly ready for it.

Back in the "normal" world I started to notice work "friends" and everywhere I went people would dart into different rooms as I entered the corridors of the same hospital that diagnosed me, as I struggled to work before treatment started. Doing everything they could to avoid eye contact. They looked like those meercats poking their heads up and then darting away. Twats ! I wasn't ready for that.

I tried to make friends with other women, going through the same, each as traumatised and struggling, they didn't answer me. I can understand. I wasn't ready for that.

I will never ever forgot the screaming and vomiting of my beautiful, adoring daughters as I explained to them mummy had naughty word or holding them as they cried themselves to sleep. I was hurting the most precious, beautiful best little friends in the world and there was nothing I could do. I wasn't ready for that .

I will never forget "friends" of 12 years send a text wishing me luck and never texting me again and then seeing secret meet ups that never included me. Friends for years not even messaging me or pretending they hadn't seen me. Wtf I had been there for you potato heads? I wasn't ready for that.

Having to sign on in the throws of horrendous sickness and pain because work would not pay me and watching my overdraft go into thousands as I struggled to pay the mortgage. Thanks NHS agenda for change. I wasn't ready for that.

Being told I was lucky, I should be grateful I wasn't dead like their relatives. I wasn't ready for that.

My cancer having its own friends, that text it and met it for coffee (secretly glad it wasn't them, secretly polishing their halos) when it was destroyed, it's friends left with it. Good riddance but shite I trusted you. I wasn't ready for that .

The whispers in the playground about those poor children, I swear I could have slowly strangled each and everyone of those silly fucking whispering bitches. (OOps potty mouth is back) I wasn't ready for that.

Over a year after my last chemo, feeling exhausted, confused and being told treatment had finished what's wrong with you?! I wasn't ready for that.

Losing some lovely ladies who were just unlucky and hearing their heartbreak as this vile disease slowly destroyed their happy lives. Miss you guys. I wasn't ready for that.

In the depths of full blown treatment, being held, being kissed, being told I was beautiful, being bathed and having my head stroked till I fell asleep by a husband I was divorcing. I will love him forever now. I wasn't ready for that.

Being brought beautiful poems of love and pictures of mummy better. Being cuddled and tenderly given teddies all with their hair cut off! A hello kitty bowl to vomit in and numerous wigs on the cats. I wasn't ready for that.

Having my priest pray and bring communion every week, message me and find me special seats at church away from other people and their germs that could wipe me out. I wasn't ready for that .

Being sent cards, little gifts and messages of hang in there by some beautifully thoughtful people. I love you dearly .

And now here I sit, battered, bruised and exhausted, my opponent is out for the count but may wake up at anytime only through luck am I here. So my gloves are still on, my boots tied. As protected as I can be. But where is the guard for my heart and mind? They took the worst beating ever.

Looking back now, I wasn't ready at all .

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Write for the blog! This blog is one of a series being shared on the Young Women's Breast Cancer Blog UK during October, breast cancer awareness month, but the blog is here year round. If you are a young woman in the UK who has/had a breast cancer diagnosis and you would like to be a part of this blog, please have a read of the additional information here.

Check your breasts

Breast cancer can happen to any of us - regardless of age. Information about how to check your breasts can be found on the Coppafeel and Breast Cancer Now websites.

Further information and support:
Younger Breast Cancer Network UK - an online chat and support group for women under the age of 45 in the UK who have had a breast cancer diagnosis.
Baldly Beautiful - a YouTube channel with make up demonstrations, created by Mac makeup artist Andrea Pellegrini who went through chemo herself in 2014.
Take A Moment - This is a group for women (all ages) who have/had breast cancer who want to explore, reflect on and express their feelings and experiences through photography. This is a link to the public page - to join the group, send them a message.
The Osborne Trust - Providing children of parents with cancer the opportunity to access time out recreational activities whilst their parents undergo operations and treatments
Jen's Friends - Free heart-shaped pillows for women (and men) with Breast Cancer. Designed to provide comfort and protection after a Mastectomy operation.

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