Saturday, 22 October 2016

Day 22 #pathways2resilience ~ Ruth

Special Feature Edition: Pathways to Resilience: Embracing our Vulnerability, Celebrating our Resilience

'I graduated from an MA in Victorian studies this year...'

In today's post for our month long feature #pathways2resilience, Ruth shares how her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2004, followed by a recurrence led her to pursue a long-term goal to enrol on an MA in Victorian studies.


I was devastated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and again with a recurrence in 2008. I truly did not expect to be around for very long after the 2008 recurrence which was in the lymph nodes in my chest, but after surgery, chemotherapy and a year on herceptin I decided to take it one day at a time and see what happened.

I tried very hard to put the cancer to the back of my mind, which was often hard, because the 'black cloud' often threatened to descend (and sometimes succeeded in doing so. At those times, and during the 'scares' that happened several times I found the support of others (usually online but sometimes face to face) was absolutely invaluable.

I changed my job twice during the last 8 years and eventually went part time. I decided to take the plunge on one of my 'bucket list' wishes and enrolled on a MA in Victorian Studies in 2014. I graduated this year and it was the most amazing and fun time (although pretty gruelling and stressful at times too).I've also taken the opportunity to take holidays when I could including a trip to Moscow where my son was at University just a few months after finishing treatment in 2009.

Nearly six years ago my first grandchild arrived, and I feel so grateful to be able to have her in my life. I'm currently feeling well, still on hormone therapy and tablets for bone-thinning, and also have lymphodema in my arm, but I have had some amazing times in the last 8 years. If anyone had told me in 2004 that I'd have done and achieved so much I'd have told them they were mad! Lots of love and luck to anyone starting out on this journey. I wish you all well.

#panningforgold #pathways2resilience
#bcresiliencecentre #breastcancerawareness

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