This time last year, I had just finished the last of six rounds of chemotherapy and was preparing for my first post-chemo Christmas. It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by, particularly as I still remember the day I was ‘sentenced‘ to eight months of treatment as if it were yesterday.
Since then, I’ve met a lot of people going through chemo and I’ve been surprised at the varying advice given to them by different hospitals, for example the woman whose nails went black and started falling off after chemo because she had never been given a simple tip to help protect them.
With this in mind, I’ve written a list of ten top tips to get through chemo for this month’s post for Breast Cancer Care UK’s Vita magazine. Click the link to read the list.
Merry Christmas all!
Last month, I got my period. This wouldn’t normally be headline news, but considering it was the first one in the eight months since my penultimate chemotherapy session, it was rather a big deal to me.
I’m writing about this because it’s a seldom talked about part of the breast cancer experience, yet for many pre-menopausal women it’s one of the single greatest concerns during treatment. Will my periods come back after chemo? Will I still be able to have children in the future?
So, despite the fact that we don’t talk about periods, I decided to write about mine. Here goes…
To read the rest of this post in Breast Cancer Care UK’s Vita Magazine, click here.
(And if you don’t want to read the post, have a look at this picture of me and my survivor girlfriends in Daymer Bay, Cornwall last week!)
When I left my job recently, one of the last things I had to do was give back my laptop and iPhone – not the end of the world by any stretch, but nevertheless two pieces of technology to which I had grown accustomed and somewhat attached.
I’ve been without mobile internet for over a month now and, frankly, I’m loving it. Of course, I don’t wish to be completely internet-less because the truth is the web has been a wonderful support throughout my cancer experience and I’m just as addicted to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the next person. But there is definitely something to be said for going internet-free for a while, particularly as a recovering cancer patient in need of some head-clearing and soul-searching.
To read the rest of this post in Breast Cancer Care UK’s Vita Magazine and see my Six Reasons to Switch Off Your Smartphone, click here.
‘Oh, but you’re so young!’ – It’s a phrase I’ve heard repeatedly throughout my breast cancer journey. Nobody expects a woman in her 20s to have breast cancer – after all, eight out of 10 cases are in women over 50, and only a tiny fraction are women under 35, or men. But every year, about 200 women under 30 are diagnosed with the disease.
Having breast cancer is an isolating experience, regardless of age, nationality or background. It’s no less easy for a 70-year-old than for a 25-year-old. Nevertheless, over the past seven months since my diagnosis at age 29, I have found that a lot of the support and guidance available is (understandably) catered towards older women, and doctors don’t necessarily take into account the needs of the pre-menopausal.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a few bits of advice from personal experience. Most of it is relevant to women of all ages, but I hope some of it will be particularly helpful to those few fellow women in their 20s and 30s who receive a diagnosis this year.
(Please click on the link below to see my latest blog for Breast Cancer Care UK):