Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Day 25 #pathways2resilience ~ Bal

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

Here are the colours of my journey.........

In today's post for our month long feature #pathways2resilience, Bal shares how she was diagnosed with breast cancer at a routine medical checkup after her holiday, the challenges of her treatment and the impact on her life, as well as what her family would say.

Here are the colours of my journey on Planet ''C'' for the last 10 months :(

After having an amazing holiday in July 2015, a routine medical checkup in August 2015 confirmed my worst nightmare ever....when the consultant uttered those devastating words - "You have stage 3 invasive carcinoma breast cancer!" Floods of tears came tumbling down my face, as my hubby was in a state of silence, shock, horror, call it a million emotions going round in my head. There is no history in my family so why me? life is unfair etc. etc....

“Am I going to die?” was my first reaction. The consultant was lovely and he said 'Certainly not, I promise you are going to be okay'.

My son was only 15 years old, no child should have to endure such a trauma like this. He asked "Mum are you going to die?'' I quickly responded "NO" and that was when I found my inner strength/resilience to fight with every last breath in my body. Without the lovely support of my medical team/family/friends/neighbours/work colleagues, breast cancer mentors, I would not have got through such a long journey. I knew god only tests those that are strong enough to fight.

I had a mastectomy on the 12th September, then lymph node auxiliary clearance 10th October as the pathology results revealed two nodes with tiny spots which had not become active but a second operation was required. Then 12th November, chest port cannula, another operation under local anaesthetic, 13th November I started 8 sessions of chemotherapy, (4 FEC,4 Taxotere).

The last 4 chemotherapy treatments were the worst days my life.....swollen hands and feet, palpitations, constipation, fatigue & above all chemo 7 blood count was very low so I needed two pints of blood transfusion the day after chemo…deep joy!! I couldn't get out of bed for 7 days. My new hobby was sleeping for 18 hours a day!! I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel but perseverance, as Winston Churchill would say, ''If you are going through hell keep going.''

I may not be there yet but I'm closer than I was yesterday.

13th May 2015 I started radiotherapy for 15 sessions daily…a walk in the park as my oncologist commented but it peaked one week after, oh boy the fatigue hit again when I least expected.

When I was going through treatment, I had this goal in mind and trained on my good days and took part in the 10k Race for Life just 3 weeks after my treatment finished.  I feel proud to have raised £1500 for such a worthy cause. I also joined Breast Cancer Care support service, 'Someone like me.'

My outlook on life since 'C' has changed - lots of positives. My son has matured so much since and has passed his GCSEs with flying colours…A* or As in all his subjects. My hubby and I have been married for 25 years (lovely holiday in the paradise island of Mauritius), my sister in law is expecting her first child in February 2017 and my nephew has recently got engaged and is getting married next year. It's been 1 year (September) and my mammogram and scan are all clear, so life is good and I am thankful to be alive.

So as my family would comment:-
Rocky, Bal, Buah
Rocky represents the ups downs of my journey that I endured in the past year.
Bal as I'm known to many friends/colleagues by.
Buah meaning Auntie, what my nieces and nephew call me.


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