Breast cancer, Cancer

10 years on – a new decade, a new diagnosis

I had hoped, perhaps naively, that once the 10-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis came around, I could end this blog for good. Of course, life is never that simple, is it?

I didn’t post anything on my 10-year anniversary on June 22nd because I was fairly certain I was heading for a secondary diagnosis. Sure enough, almost exactly a decade to the day, I found out earlier this month that the original cancer has spread to my bones. It is now stage four, also known as incurable, metastatic or secondary breast cancer, which means it will never be cured, but it can be treated.

I am clutching onto the fact that I got a whole 10 years to live my life to the full without the knowledge that my cancer was still lurking somewhere inside me. In those 10 years I’ve accomplished the most extraordinary things and had the most incredible life.

In particular, 2022 has been the year I’ve fulfilled some lifelong dreams, from launching a podcast to the publication of my first novel, Single Bald Female. Who knows if I would have done those things if I’d known that my cancer had never truly gone away? I know you might feel sorry for me, but I count myself lucky.

Recovering from a bone biopsy at the Royal Marsden hospital

Chapter Two

From today, I’m starting a new chapter, moving my musings to my newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. I’ve written a post about what it all means, what to say and what not to say, and how you can help. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of weeks about how little we know about secondary breast cancer and I know I have a role in helping people to learn and understand. I also speak from the perspective of someone 10 years older than I was when I was diagnosed back in the summer of 2012 at the age of 29.

I might still post on this blog from time to time, particularly as The Big Scary ‘C’ Word still gets a huge amount of love from people searching for guidance on hair loss, infertility, chemotherapy and beyond. But for now, head on over to Chapter Two and stay in touch.

Breast cancer, Food, Health, single bald female, UK

My debut novel Single Bald Female and other news

It’s almost a decade since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the same amount of time since I started this blog. You may have noticed I only update it once a year now, which is a sign that I’m doing well. But I’m still writing (more than ever, in fact) and I wanted to share three little updates with you…

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Breast cancer, Careers

Nine years after cancer – and why the time is now to follow your dreams

Today marks an incredible nine years since the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer and, naturally, I’m feeling reflective. I hate to give cancer the credit for anything positive, but it’s crazy to think about where I was then and where I am now.

On 22nd June 2012, I was 29 years old and at a bit of a crossroads in my career. For decades, I had wanted to be a “proper writer”. For years, I had been contemplating quitting my job in financial journalism, but I put it off because I loved the job, it was well-paid and it took me all over the world. Plus I had my whole life to pursue my dream career. Shortly after I found the lump and right before my diagnosis, I finally quit that job, moving across the world from Argentina to Dublin. I’d love to say I did it to follow my dreams, but the move was mostly motivated by a relationship.

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Breast cancer, single bald female

My debut novel: Single Bald Female

I am so excited to finally share some good news in what has been a Pretty Terrible Year. My debut novel, SINGLE BALD FEMALE, will be published in Spring 2022!

As many of you will know, I started writing this book more than five years ago and it’s been an absolute labour of love, so I can’t tell you how pleased I am to finally put it out in the world.

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Breast cancer, Cancer, Careers, UK, Women's Health

Seven years on – why it’s okay to quit

One of the phrases most commonly associated with cancer is ‘life’s too short’. Then there’s ‘live every day as if it’s your last,’ ‘appreciate the little things’ and ‘what would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ While I absolutely agree with all of the above, I think that anyone who is living with, or has had, cancer will tell you that in practice they aren’t always possible. Continue reading

Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cancer, Chemo Brain, Depression, Emotional Health, Guilt, Hair loss, Hair regrowth, Health, Manchester, MRI, Periods, Tamoxifen, UK, Women's Health

Six years on: tamoxifen, guilt and life after cancer

Today marks six years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I’m not quite sure how to sum up everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours, let alone the last year or six years. So here’s a list, in no particular order, of random thoughts and people who have inspired me. Continue reading

BCSM, Breast cancer, Cancer, MRI, Periods, UK, Uncategorized

Five Years On

Today marks the day that, five years ago, I entered St. Vincent’s Hospital completely oblivious about the state of my health and left with the news that I had cancer. It was a day that would change my life in so many ways, not so much because of the horrors the illness would bring for me but because of the wonderful people I would meet because of it, and those I would lose along the way. Continue reading

BCSM, Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cancer, Coppafeel!, Health, HuffPost, Humor, Humour, Running, UK, Women's Health

Five Reasons Why I’m Trekking Across Iceland for CoppaFeel

In August, I’m trekking 60km across Iceland (the country, not the supermarket) to raise money for a small but perfectly formed charity named CoppaFeel! Despite the daunting prospect of sore knees, blisters, sleep deprivation from the four hours of nightly darkness and the small matter of raising £2,695, I’m up for the challenge.  Continue reading