I would like to take this opportunity to wish all cancer survivors, fighters and thrivers a very Happy International Cancer Survivor’s Day!
I never even knew such a day existed before my diagnosis in March 2019. Now, it is a day to celebrate myself and everyone else who has had to face cancer.
Since creating my Instagram page to share my experiences and awareness of womb cancer, I have got to know so many wonderful people who have also been there. I am forever grateful for the support from family and friends, but the best support has come from those who KNOW what it is like to hear the words, “You have cancer”.
I’d be telling lies if I said there never were dark times.
Of course there were plenty of dark times. Like the moment when my doctor said those three words, “You have cancer.” I didn’t take in much else what he said, I only registered the details of the diagnosis later. All I could think of at that moment was that I had cancer. It mattered little what stage it was or what treatment I needed.
I’ve yet to speak to any cancer survivor who hasn’t thought about their own death following the diagnosis. I’m also not alone in planning my funeral or heartfelt goodbyes to my loved ones. Needless to say, they were super emotional, and I made myself cry several times, planning what I would say.
But then, the will to live kicked in.
I would not surrender to the beast inside me. I was going to do everything in my power to live. And to live a long and healthy live fulfilling my dreams.
I thought of how I survived against the odds when I was born. The birth was difficult, and I was emergency christened in case I would not make it. For the first few years of my life, the doctors said I might not develop normally, but here I am. I was going to survive again. To be a medical miracle for the second time in my life.
I’m not sure if I really qualify as a medical miracle, but I like the sound of it, so I’m claiming it.
I see cancer as a blessing in disguise.
I have been free of cancer since October 2019. However, that doesn’t mean I’m out of the woods. As a Lynch syndrome carrier I never will be. Also, the doses of radiotherapy I needed increases the chance of another cancer later in life.
I honestly believe that I can live the rest of my life cancer free. Why? Because one of my maternal grandparents must have had the gene and they passed away from non-cancerous reasons in their nineties. My mum also has the gene and is (thank God) fit and healthy. And the difference is lifestyle.
Thanks to cancer, I now have a lot healthier habits and I feel (and look) better. I’m also happier because I am working on things that I love like this blog.
I’m writing poetry (you can read my cancer inspired poem here) and working on my book. We have our cycle ride coming up in the summer. There is also another big change coming up, which I will tell you about in due course.
I honestly don’t think any of these things would be happening had it not been for the cancer diagnosis.
So, on this Cancer Survivors’ Day…
I want to say how grateful I am to have a second shot of living the life I always meant to live. I have the chance to fulfil my dreams.
Today, like every day of my life, I want to express my gratitude to the amazing team at Royal Marsden who work tirelessly to ensure that as many cancer patients as possible can celebrate on the first Sunday of June. So that they can say, “I survived and you can, too.” I am grateful to the research they do that helps cancer patients, survivors and previvors around the world.
And of course, I am grateful to be fit and healthy so that I can show my appreciation by fundraising for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. This is why we are cycling across Europe this summer. To show how much we value their work at the Royal Marsden and raise money for their vital work. We need more cancer survivors!
You can help, too.
There are different ways you can get involved. You can:
- donate to our fundraiser
- subscribe to our news letter
- like and comment on this post and other posts you read
- share this (or any other posts you enjoyed) with your friends and family
- follow us on social media
Thank you for being here and reading the post.
Until next time!