Sunday, 6 March 2016

My Mother's Day Gift! ~ Fiona

March 15th 2015 was going to be a special day, my daughter Rachel and her partner Thomas were bringing my 3 day old Grandaughter Charlie home from hospital.  Up showered and get ready for the day, however that particular morning in the shower was when I found 'lump'.  

Parked in the back of my mind to enjoy the day receiving my gifts and seeing my youngest daughter as a mummy with Charlie. I also had a lovely face time with Laura my oldest daughter with Oliver who was 18 months at the time, she lives in Colchester! A perfect day! Except 'lump' was in the back of my mind whilst going to bed.

Next morning rang GP, there were no appointments, “Is it an emergency?”, I was asked, no its fine not an emergency.  I drove to work sat in the car park and rang GP back, explained that I had found 'lump'. 4.45pm that day had my first of many appointments.

26th March was diagnosed with Breast Cancer – WOW.

My first discussion with my Breast Cancer Specialist nurse was that I’m booked to go to Tuscany in June, it’s not up for discussion you will have to work around this, because I am going.

Telling my daughters was the most awful experience. They had babies, I had everything to live for, amazing husband, gorgeous girls and two beautiful grandchildren.

21st April Operation Day, Mastectomy & Reconstruction. Left hospital 25th April.  BOOM!  What next?  The all important results, what did they remove from me?

Thursday 7th May was an important day for Scotland it was our referendum election day, huge day for a lot of people.  For me there was only one thing on my mind to get to that appointment and hear whatever they have to say to me……… No Further Treatment…… Really I couldn’t hear her for the tears rolling down my face. 'Lump' was removed I was clear to go on and live my life and enjoy that holiday in Tuscany.

Home now to give everyone the good news.  Emotionally drained what a rollercoaster.  So, the flowers stop arriving, visitors stop coming, phone stops ringing.  That’s it I’m sorted.  Not a chance!  Feel so alone, invisible. How can this be?

Whilst having naps I kept getting this one picture in my head, over and over again.  I was on a train and my team of specialists were on with me, the train stopped and off I go onto the platform, turn round and my team were still on the train, it was moving away. I had no idea where I was no signs, just standing on the platform on my own. Where do I go? What do I do?

A few days later whilst having coffee with a friend, I told her I was feeling a bit isolated etc., she gave me the number for a local organisation Cancer Support Scotland.  I made an appointment and went to see them on 21st May.

I met my lovely Massage Therapist who gave me six amazing massages. I also met with a Talking Therapist both of these people have become invaluable to me. On returning from holiday I continued with the treatments all free, then when my massage therapy was coming to an end I really wasn’t ready to walk away from this beautiful renovated chapel which is the most calm, tranquil beautiful space – my little haven. I decided to speak to someone about becoming a volunteer. I volunteer at the reception on a Saturday morning and have been doing so since.

Cancer Support Scotland was the missing sign on that train station. I am not alone I have found a beautiful space where I can contemplate, feel safe, and give something back.  They have taken me by the hand and allowed me to have the time to emotionally heal.

Last week I was asked to do a talk at a women’s guild about my personal story with one of the fundraising team. I was a little nervous, you could hear a pin drop, I got to the end of my story and asked if there were any questions I could answer. This lovely little lady said how brave and courageous to speak about my 'lump', she also said that it must have been difficult the first time I spoke. When I told them that this was my first time, they all clapped. It was so lovely.

So as we approach Mother’s Day 2016, Charlie will be 1 year old, Oliver is 2 & half.  I will get up, have a shower and enjoy my day as last year. Hopefully without 'lump'.

Huge gratitude and love to my daughters Laura and Rachel and to my rock Stuart.

My Mother’s Day gift to you all is to cherish each and every day.


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