Blog

Poison

I have finished chemotherapy. I was going to write ‘completed’ but this is not true. I was due to have six cycles. But my body started to shut down after four. So I made the decision along with my oncologist to stop as the risks were outweighing the benefits.
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Bald and Brave

I am struggling to write at the moment. I don’t know if this is a result of chemotherapy (chemo brain-is an actual thing) or just that I am having trouble finding the words for my understanding over the last couple of months.
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Why I shaved my head

I just shaved my head. The chemotherapy that I am ‘on’ will kill every living cell, the good and the bad. My hair WILL fall out.
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Things could be worse

I have just come out of a hole. This hole is unlike any other I have been in before. It’s the place you go when you have no idea what is next but when the best outcome is still someone else’s worst nightmare.
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I know nothing

So to catch you up to speed. Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in September 2018, double mastectomy in December 2018, all clear in January 2019.Found a lump in right armpit in June 2019. Biopsied and confirmed as same cancer in July 2019. Total lymph node removal surgery of arm pit in August 2019. Results confirmed 25% of nodes removed had cancer. Awaiting oncology appointment. Chemotherapy to start September until middle of February.
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Jijivisha

I came across a word some time back that has never left me. It’s a hindi word and there is no direct translation in the English language. Jijivisha. It means one’s desire to live fully and to carry on living.
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The Darkness

Where to start. I didn’t understand. How had this been missed? I had preventative surgery pre- mastectomies to check that my lymphatic system was clear.
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Fear and Anxiety

“Get to know your new body so that you can keep a tab on any changes.”
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Mothers and Daughters

We are all daughters. We are all products of the women before us. And they, the women before them.
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Battles

Sometimes I don’t feel positive. There is no other way to say it. Sometimes I feel horrendous. Positivity and despair can turn up in the same hour. And despair is the guest that the vast majority of people in my life don’t see.
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Dance or drown in the rain

I have worked for years in the dance industry, from performing to teaching to choreography and directing. When my ex husband and I initially separated, I decided to take up a hobby.
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Treatment

I had a two week wait after my surgery for my follow up appointment with my surgeon. At this point, I was told chemotherapy was unlikely but they would like to radiate the right chest wall to zap any remaining nasties.
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Why me?

There are many reasons why medical professionals claim that breast cancer is affecting a younger generation of women than ever before and why it is the second leading cancer in women. Lung cancer just tops this.
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Reconstruction

This is one of the more interesting parts of my journey I think. Two words are used a lot, lumpectomy or mastectomy. A lumpectomy does as it says on the tin, removal of the lump and a bit more to make sure the bugger is gone.
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Kindness

Kindness is always there. It shows up in all forms, sometimes when you’re least expecting it. And the smallest act can be so poignant. There are hundreds of memes and quotes flying around the abyss
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Loss

My biological mother died five days after my surgery. I refer to her as my biological mother as she bore me and I had a relationship of sorts with her growing up, albeit one that I considered complex.
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Now you see them

go salsa dancing the weekend before. I throw away my dancing shoes afterwards. Partly symbolism and ritualistic to honour that the next time I would go dancing things would be different
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Light in the Dark

Not one to be perturbed easily I thought it might be fun to capture some images before I lose a boob or two. I reached out to a friend and colleague and approached her with the idea of working with me on this next phase to document the stages in photos.
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The Big Cock-up

The MRI. A first for me. I sat wrapped in an NHS couture number waiting to be called into the scanning room. I have to mention that I had felt the need to do these things on my own. I’m not sure why.
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Discovery to Diagnosis

I found a lump. Casually making a cup of tea, topless. I don’t make a habit of walking around topless in my house. But on this occasion I am glad I did. So there I was swanning about, with my teeny boobs out in all their glory, waiting for the kettle to boil. I slid my hand over my boob, just above my nipple.
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