Clocking up the miles

I just walked 7 miles. 7 bloody miles!!!! I’m so chuffed with myself. That’s no mean feat when you’re living with what I am. 

The reason for this mammoth walk is because I’m taking part in the St. Albans half marathon to raise money for the Hospice of St Francis. I’m also doing it to challenge myself. The ‘old’ me wouldn’t have even considered entering something like this but when you’re diagnosed with a long term chronic illness, of any sort, it makes you view the world from a different angle. 

It’s a bit like you want to cram the most weird but wonderful things into your life. The very reason I learnt to ride a motorbike. Yes it could be viewed as dangerous but what the hell, you only live once!! It was something I doubt I ever would have had the balls to do BC (before cancer). 

Life has dealt me a shit card but rather than let it defeat me, I’m standing stronger than I ever have. I’m doing more than I ever would and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I know only too well that one day it’s going to sneak up and bite me on the bottom, but until then, I shall continue loving life. 



Today is not a people day. I do not want to make small talk, send numerous texts or see anybody. Sometimes I just like to be alone. Being alone with my thoughts is not always a good combination but I do think that such moments are a necessity. It’s a time when I can wallow in self pity, feel angry at the world and yell silent obscenities to people who have, at some point, annoyed me.  All done without upsetting or offending anyone.                                                     Normal service will resume shortly. 

Not just a physical thing..

So, tomorrow I celebrate my 2 year cancerversary (anniversary). It’s a joyous occasion marking the fact that I’m still alive and kicking after being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer on the 2nd may 2014.

Only it’s not all that joyous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for everyday when I wake up. I live my life in chapters, between scans. Dreading results day because that could be the day my world comes crashing down. Being told I’ve got progression. But, until then I’m living, creating memories for the children and trying not to worry about the future.

But that’s the trouble. You can’t get away from the shadow that’s constantly looming. It’s always there. Some days it gets too much. Like today.

Today I’m having flashbacks to this time 2 years ago when I was seriously ill and rushed to hospital in an ambulance. I was admitted and later that evening I was told I had breast cancer. I was alone. It wasn’t visiting time and my fiancé was serving in afghan. It was just me and the doctor in a little side room. Then she left and it was just me.

I’ll never forget the week leading up to being admitted, I had been signed off from work and spent my days watching films on the sofa, too weak to even get dressed.

I’ll never forget the days that followed, all the tests I had to have – MRI, CT, a bone biopsy, another MRI, a hysteroscopy, blood test after blood test. During my three week stay I had 12 blood transfusions and 3 platelet ones. I was in a bad way.

Five days after being told I had breast cancer, I was told that the cancer had spread. It was in my bones as well. I had secondary breast cancer. It was incurable.

Fast forward a few months and I’d had 18 weekly sessions of chemotherapy and 15 daily sessions of radiotherapy. I was scanned every 3 months and, after being stable for over a year, I moved to 6 monthly scans.

And that’s where I’m at. Two years on and still stable. Living a life oblivious to the fact I have cancer. I’ve found a new normal. It’s not all that bad. Physically, I get more tired than I used to and have to rest a lot more. Mentally, it’s a battle of wills. You have to ride the waves of emotion but, whatever happens, you can’t let them drown you.

Emma xx