As most of you know, I’m a member (and one of the admin team) of YBCN – the Younger Breast Cancer Network. Currently we have just over 3500 women, all under the age of 45 and all living with varying diagnoses of breast cancer.
I’m a member of the ‘living with’ group – we have all been diagnosed with secondaries (our cancer has spread from the breast into organs and/or bones). Our cancer is incurable.
The past few months have been tough. Really tough.
You quickly form ‘virtual’ friendships, welcoming new ladies into our fold on a (sometimes) daily basis. We talk about all sorts – chemo, side effects, the best holiday insurance company (we all love a holiday!) and many other things besides. It’s somewhere safe to vent, cry and share our scan results.
Many of my friends on the group I’ve never met, but there are some of us that meet up a few times a year for lunch, normally in London. I always liken these meetings to the witches conference in the film ‘The Witches’ except we don’t pull our skin off!! There’s something about the group of us sitting there, just like anyone else, that makes me want to chuckle. From the outside, we are just regular women but we all share the same secret.
It’s hard not to forge special relationships and some of the ladies become close friends – I’m off to Belfast in a few weeks with two of them which will be a blast!!
But, with all the good comes some bad. The past few months have been extremely tough going because we have sadly lost a lot of our friends. It’s inevitable in a group such as ours that this will happen, and it does frequently, but just lately it feels as though it has been relentless. It truly rocks the group.
And it never gets any easier.
But, that said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would never leave the group. The support I get from the ladies, who understand exactly what I’m going through, totally outweighs the sad times.
Some deaths hit harder than others but it’s at these moments we all come together – united, strong, brave women that I’m proud to be one of.