Mixing up all the emotions!

21/09/18

Genetics sent me a letter. And requested an appointment. WTAF. I was utterly convinced that it would go nowhere. I’ve read that 90% of breast cancer isn’t hereditary. So I have no idea what I would possibly need to see them for. Although I don’t doubt they are clever folk, I really don’t know what I am going to say to them. I then rang the lovely folk upwards of twenty times to make the ‘actual’ appointment and bounced between an answer machine and ringing out. That wasn’t annoying much!

22/09/18

So I’m missing another childs party. It was a long day and I did a bit of wallowing today. Left alone in the house, after a second week off work. I had no cleaning, no ironing, no hoovering. So I sat with cabin fever. I am desperate to start the next phase of this journey and be done with. Come on time and waiting, bring it on!

24/09/18

I went back to work today and I was tired by 11am. My arm was bloody killing as well still and I was popping codeine like they were sweets (only prescription level!). I was absolutely well in my whole self (apart from the nagging pain under my armpit, down the back of my arm, the two tendons that looked like they were popping out of my armpit were definitely odd and my boob was sore).

Genetics ring back midday finally and offer me an appointment locally on 24/10. Really?! A whole month later. There is no urgency in this whole journey that’s for sure! I asked for one at their main centre, they offered the day after. I took the one local!! (More waiting).

I made it through work until 2pm, went on a mission for the bus, got halfway and realised I had no house keys! What a bloody rookie error. I was furious! I did the lived experience of handing the keys I locked the house with to man cub as the driver as they usually live in the car, blatantly forgetting that I didn’t have my own in my bag. Foresight is a wonderful invention and if someone could make it kick in more than twenty minutes before you actually need it, it would be worth a bloody fortune. Frantic message to a friend and neighbour and after a wander round the town centre and spending money on clothes to make me happy (!), I finally got a lift to said neighbours, and then waited until the man and cub came home. I was tired again!

 

I was searching a few blogs tonight. And didn’t immediately feel bad reading them. I always thought I would. I still haven’t googled anything. I never have (ask anyone who was around me during pregnancy and they will tell you I valiantly avoided any ‘training’ about what would happen! It took me 18 hours to realise I was having contractions!!). The problem with reading blogs though is that they aren’t at the same stage as you. In some instances I don’t even know what the terminology is referring too. There seems to be a lot of chemo terminology and I know I’m going to end up down a google warren sooner or later as clever consultants are notoriously bad at the human touch!

 

25/09//18

Bored, bored, bored with the pain now. It is somewhat annoying, shooting in an area that in the normal days of life you never feel! Like seriously, have a think about the last time you appreciated you could feel anything in your armpit and down the back of your arm. You never do. Shaving an area that has no feeling is also the weirdest feeling.

 

I’ve got the consultant tomorrow and dark thoughts are still there and growing. I don’t want to be beaten by this. My baby needs me, the man cub needs me (I think!), but I NEED THEM. My world is too short – I want every day to last 12 hours longer. I read today that 84% of women with breast cancer are not told about the possibility of developing long term anxiety and depression by healthcare professionals (Breast Cancer Care) and it struck a chord. I got it. I actually really got it. This damn cancer does make you doubt your place on earth. Counsellors have only been mentioned twice in this whole journey, firstly in case I wanted to have more kids (I hadn’t and don’t – but by heck it gets you thinking when you know you might not be able to), and secondly after surgery when chemo had started (probably for the body image, but I am guessing). It all felt a bit blasé, after the fact, I might appear to be the strongest, feistiest mama bear, and I probably would clam up in a room with a stranger, but I do think there’s a case for something further here. Its something I need to come back to when my head is straighter.

 

Consultant appointment tomorrow. I may have had a couple of drinks while I scribbled my heady thoughts and I am dreading it. It feels like it will be ‘move forward or stay put’. And now my head is in a negative place (damn cancer and damn drink!). Aaaagh!!

 

I still got this though. Game face ready for work again tomorrow. I am on it, I am ready and I am still fighting this.

Post op – the Cancer is out….

So its out. The Cancer is out. And I am tired. More tired than I felt having a new born five years ago. Absolutely dog tired.

12/09/18

I wake up absolutely exhausted and I slept fairly well (I mean as well as you can do with a bra still on and a pain riding down my arm rendering it numb. I decided in my wisdom that a walk on our lovely fells would do me a treat. Well, that was a mistake! Was probably too much as the next day I slept until 11.30am and woke up just as exhausted again. This was not what I expected at all. I did get a lot of flowers though from my thoughtful friends, they made me smile – which girl doesn’t like getting flowers!

The child returned home and I was overjoyed. She has no idea what is going on apart from that my left booby is broken. I think that adequately describes it for her! She keeps asking to be reminded which side she can hug me on and every time it annoys me that this damn cancer is making life a little bit more difficult. I mean, in the grand scheme of things its not that big a deal, but why should my five year old be affected like this. Ugh.

14/09/18

I return to hospital for a wound check with the lovely Pauline. She removes the huge dressing (which was like a lovely painful wax!) and checked it out, but I didn’t really feel like looking at it. I’m not quite prepared for whether it looks a bit weird. But if I’m honest, regardless of the scar, the rest of the boob looks pretty much the same. It doesn’t feel smaller than it was. I mean, it is still smaller than the other one but it doesn’t look different in the main. Although now, I think my relationship with them has totally changed. For anyone that is a mother, I think you change your concept when you’ve breastfed and to be honest it took me a long time to love them after their practicality then. I wonder how long it will take me now to accept them again?

Pauline examined me and although I have a wonderful amount of bruising and numbness in my armpit and down the back of my arm (think the feeling of a trapped nerve constantly) and some water retention, I was declared fairly well! We talked about chemo, which now sounds a lot more scary and an absolute ball ache. Hair loss was mentioned (I am determined that I am coming back blonde and straight!), however there is an ice thing (need to look into that probably) that can help prevent the hair loss. Maybe the dentist had been right when she mentioned that!

Then I was blindsided. We talked about the histology that was going on, and the mention of clear tissue needing to be found round the cancer removed (the analogy was that of a peach stone too close to the surface. If there wasn’t clear peach round the outside of the stone it was bad). In reality this equated to going back under the knife. Ryan and I walked out of there a little bit dazed. We hadn’t thought about that. It wasn’t a thing in my head at all and I didn’t much fancy the idea of another operation before getting started with chemo. I also didn’t want to think about cancer still being in my body. So I parked that thought to deal with at another space and time.  I had a waiting game to deal with and tiredness to knock on the head until 26/09. It was going to be a long week and a half. The bloody ‘long game’ is what cancer treatment should be called. I can only guess if you have more aggressive cancer then it might go quicker. Maybe that is reassuring.

20/09/18

Well, 2am this morning and I nearly broke the floodgates and let all the tears come. It was the most bizarre situation. I was having the weirdest dream with old and new friends, ex work colleagues, snow (? Its still summer!), a basement party, Home & Away stars (even more bizarre), then I was trying to get out a train station and my friend and the Police were there, and I stole a passport from a locker to get through the gates so they arrested me. I mean all that there sounds like I was on a weird trip! But when they told me I would get jailed for six years, I broke to my knees and wailed. I woke up abruptly with silent tears streaming down my face, and after a loo trip I was in the sobbing phase. After sitting in my living room pulling it together, I knew I didn’t want this to be the point I broke. I know that I don’t want to break yet, if ever. I need to fight this with clear head and at this moment in time I don’t need to get into my negative head. I need to be strong. There will be plenty time when this finishes (I hope) that I can cry and look back on it and deal with it. But at this moment in time I am fighting.

At 8am watching some rubbish on TV, the postcode lottery advert was on with their catchy slogan ‘it could happen to anyone’. Well – that felt much like this bloody cancer. It happened to me and I am living it.

I’ve got this. Still waiting, but still strong.

C Day……

11/09/18

Today is the day. It is 6am and I am up and ready,waiting for a lift to the hospital. I feel pumped (although a little grumpy as it is early to be fair). I am ready for this and have been waiting a long time to get this lump out. It is the start of something now, and I have been ready for it for the last two months. The car journey (with my dad) is very quiet. We have no words to deal with this. Which daddy ever wants to take his daughter into hospital to get an operation to get rid of cancer. That entire sentence doesn’t need to be in any bodies vocabulary does it? We are a traditional daddy, daughter pair and I don’t want to be the person who is bringing such pain to his heart.

7.15: At the hospital the call comes out for me and I am led through to the surgical centre by a nurse who felt like false cheer was what I needed this morning. I wasn’t buying it and my grumpus mood probably showed. I wanted to get this done, it was something I needed to do, but I didn’t need to make light of it or inane small chat with a complete stranger. (I was worse than hormonal!). What did perk me up was the fact that the first nurse swapped out and was replaced by a young nurse who had completed the Great North Run two days prior! She was walking like John Wayne and I honestly had empathy with that having done the run a few times, so my mood perked a little bit. (My little wicked self also chuckled at the first nurse having to sweetheart a colleague to deal with me as she couldn’t!!).

8.00: I’m waiting in my two hospital gowns (one front facing, one back facing – the glamour), thrombosis socks and the cheapest pair of totes socks, for the anaesthetist and consultant to come round. I’m harbouring the remnants of a cough from the cold and desperately trying hard to hide it. The anaesthetist came in first and spotted my skulduggary straight away. After a run through of the mandatory questions (how much do you drink? Not enough!!) he brought up the ‘cough’. Thankfully, after a good listen to my lungs he prescribed me well enough to have the op. I have never sighed a bigger sigh of relief. My consultant was in next and again, the limpest hand shake in the world preceded him asking me a lot of the same questions again. But he did confirm I was second up for surgery and the first one in front of me wouldn’t take long. I was on my way! I was getting a lot of messages from friends and family and to be honest time has never passed so fast. I was welcome for the distraction, and in no time I was being called to have a walk by the tallest female I have ever had to walk alongside in my life. I’m little, but she made me feel tiny!

9.15: I was walked along a maze of corridors. Medical equipment and beds lying all over the place, the bowels of the hospital, all the while in the fetching gowns and totes until I entered the outer chamber of the surgical room (I’d imagine there is a proper term for that) where I would be put to sleep. The female nurse who walked me along was lovely and didn’t try to over chatter which considering my mood by that point was a blessing. As I laid on my back, staring at the minute hand of the clock ticking round I breathed deeply waiting for the sleep to come and knowing that when I came round I would be ‘cancer’ free. The lump would be out.

12.30: I was back in the surgical ward pod, and blubbing. Why do I always wake up from anaesthetic blubbing?! It wasn’t even because I was aware of anything at that point, it just appears to be my thing! The poor nurse was still struggling with the act of walking. My blubbing didn’t help her day!! I haven’t cried a single tear about this whole craziness, not one. And I knew this would be the first tear I cried as it appears I am making this my thing. But it still annoyed me that it was involuntary and I didn’t want to yet. This damn cancer wasn’t going to make me cry.

The next thing I knew, as time flew by quickly, I was getting picked up after a cup of coffee and an Hovis biscuit (gone are the slices of toast!). All I knew was my armpit, boob and arm were all in agony. I had a brief look and the plaster was over half of my armpit hair. That was going to feel like a pretty wax when it got taken off. I made it home, entertained the parentals for an hour so they could check I was still alive, then went to bed from 3pm to 7pm. I woke up in terror that I hadn’t said goodnight to my baby (she was at the parentals for the night). Reassured that I hadn’t missed it, I rang and had a lovely crazy chat that involved a lot of questions by me, unanswered by her and requests for me to sing Edeilby (Edelweiss from Sound of Music!) over the phone. I’ve never been so happy.

That night though I finally have the realisation that the Cancer is out!! I might feel battered. But I am relieved, the Cancer IS OUT! I know its only the start of a journey, but by god it feels good that the actual pesky cancer lump is out of my body. Its extremely psychologically positive and I am going to hold onto this feeling for a while…

5, 4, 3, 2, ……

30/08/18

So the referral to Genetics must have finally hit their desk, as I received a significant pack asking for a lot of information that I just didn’t have. This required the parentals who were busy worrying their little hearts out in the Austrian hills, pretending to have a relaxing two week walking holiday. That would have to wait until they returned. I didn’t think it would amount to much anyway as there wasn’t any links in my immediate family to cancer that I was aware of, so I parked that little bit paperwork.

06/09/18

The next step closer to the operation was the pre-op assessment, and helpfully I was loaded with cold. And I mean loaded. Full on phlegm and snot all over and I spent the morning drugged up with paracetamol and flu tablets to try and hide the fact! But in seriousness I wasn’t hiding it from anyone. The nurse was lovely and after asking how long I had the cold for (three days at that point) she said I should be fine for the op in five days. After some blood tests, DNA tests (who knew?!) the first nurse knocks in that she is eleven years clear. Why? I don’t think I understand yet that everyone has a story that they want to share with a cancer patient. Maybe its like that time when you said if you become a mam you won’t talk about your kids 24/7 then you proceed to do exactly that and become the worst hypocrite alive!

After a ECG before I could be released from the assessment, I then went to the dentist where I casually asked if my pearly whites (as pearly as they can be but they are all mine) would be ok in chemo, and she then proceeded to tell me a tale about her mother-in-law and aunty who both had cancer. Why?! Why? However, she did mention that the aunty had used a cooling head pack thingy that had helped her keep her hair through chemo. That might be one thing I google.

08/09/18

Dark thoughts today. Why did I bloody do it? Read an article about someone with Stage four cancer a few days ago, and then read today that she had died and had written birthday cards to her son for all his birthdays. I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE MY BABY. God, I want to see her grow up. I carried her, I had her (albeit an emergency c-section), I want to see how she turns out. I’ve only had five years with her, that’s not enough. I want those arguments when she’s a stroppy teenager (maybe sooner I hear, and I also might need to read this to myself a few times when I have to live it!). I shut it down. I cannot think like this.

09/09/18

The parentals help with the genetics form. Who knew that my paternal great aunties both had cancer and one had a removal (but we don’t know why – that side of the family barely know any DOB’s!). My maternal great grandfather had bowel cancer, and I didn’t know that was related but it was asked for so must be. I posted the form off, again with the thought that nothing would come of it.

10/09/18

Its getting more real now. One day to go and I spend the morning frantically finishing work stuff off and warning my team that I am off grid from that afternoon. For once I am not planning on sneakily checking my emails. I do not need any Whatsapp messages ‘filling me in’ on the gossip when I can’t do anything about it. I am determined to focus on me, my family and my recovery. I am positive I won’t be off two weeks. I even pack my work laptop to bring home so I can pick it up and crack on with some work second week in.

That afternoon, I also need to get radiation put in my breast where it will work its way through to my lymph nodes (the cleverness of this blows my mind). Once I’ve escaped work, I wait in the x-ray department watching Judge Rinder (help me) and waiting in another windowless hole (why are all the waiting rooms in an hospital windowless – its as if they purposefully want you to feel more depressed than you were). Then called into a further hole down a longer corridor. The male nurse was the most awkward man ever, who asked me to ‘cover up’. After lopping them out for every other person, someone trying to cover me up with a bit kitchen towel was the most ridiculous feeling in the wold. I felt like saying ‘mate, these have been seen by everyone, I’ve also had a baby, my body is not my own’!

One day to go. One last sleep then I would be rid of the lump, the cancer. It would be out of my body and I could get on with the rest of the preventative stuff and deal with life again! I’ve got this.

More appointments and waiting………

22/08/18

I am not a patient bunny… we had got back from our holiday on the 18 August, and the first appointment back at the hospital in the post was for a further ultrasound on the 22 August.

The ultrasound went smoothly. More boobs out while the clever doctor examined every blip that had flagged up on the MRI. Three areas were dense tissue and nothing to worry about, one area was my previous scar tissue again and the cancer was still there. But at least it was still only the one lump. A larger lump in my head but still just one. It was a small comfort.

I also took some comfort from the fact that I had decided that I would take part in a research programme, a trial to understand the impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment on everyday life.  It is a long term programme, running throughout cancer treatment and then for a few years afterwards. And while I think I’m quite a unique little introverted bunny, maybe it might help someone down the line dealing with their everyday life when they get the diagnosis. Hopefully the care that other people get will change as a result of this and improve for a wider understanding for workplaces. A lot is made of mental health awareness in workplaces, and although thoughts around cancer from the patient could fall into this, I think there is some differentiation in approach to it. I just haven’t worked that out yet!

The next week was the longest by far. And I took to writing a lot down. It was something I needed to get my thoughts out as they were eating away at me. I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone, no-one I know is living it and I don’t do well with strangers and baring my soul! I am the most introverted person!

I felt different at this point. Was I physically different – no. But the definition of cancer hung above my head every day. I could see it in the way people looked at me at work. My friends were rallying round. And yet I still hadn’t told one of my close friends as life had got in the way, the usual chaos of weekend plans, parties, arrangements to meet the grandparents and no time to actually sit down and chat with her. We arranged to meet up for coffee and after half an hour of discussing anything but, I dropped the news. I hated it, because it always leaves me with more questions that I can’t answer. As I am waiting.. And waiting… And still waiting. By this stage my breathing is out of control. I have a pain in my shoulder as I am forcing my breaths, I don’t ever feel like I can get enough air in my lungs and it is terrifying. I have feelings of guilt that I am letting everyone down and that I need to power on, and secretly I am uttering ‘Why me?’. Not helpful at all.

27/08/18

Bank Holiday aims – spend quality time with my baby girl. Just the two of us as the man cub was at work. So we lazed about, barely making it into baths and showers by midday. We didn’t have an aim, we just went with the flow. We made a mess, we baked, we went to the park and we chattered all day long. My girl can chat. And I absolutely bloody love her. With every part of me. Selfishly, I want to see how she turns out! As I already think she’s pretty amazing.

29/08/18

Finally the consultant appointment. He made me feel more confident now, that they would get this cancer out and apart from preventative measures of chemo, I could go back to living my life. But I still had a longer waiting game to play – the operation wasn’t booked in until the 11 September, two full months since they did the first biopsy. I had several appointments booked in before the op could go ahead  a pre assessment check (to make sure I was fit and healthy) and a sentinal node marker appointment where they put something in your boob to make its way to the lymph nodes for the actual day of the operation. It was all getting real now, and I just wanted it over and done with.

There was another breast cancer nurse in the room that day. My Pauline was busy with another lady (delivering bad news to some other poor soul I’d imagine). I was taken into the bad news room again after the chat with the consultant, told me I needed to read the green book (I don’t want too!) with certain pages identified so I could understand what was happening. I still don’t feel the need to read anything about this craziness. I will need a supportive bra for after surgery (ha – where can you find supportive when you have wonky boobs already?!), mention of a counsellor for after the fact (why would that help after the fact I thought?) and then that I would need at least two weeks off work to recover (aaagh – I did not like that mention).

I was still on the journey.  And although we weren’t going quickly we had a plan. And I had this.

Holiday with a cloud…

05/08/18

We were off. On our holidays as a family.

But we also had to tell my best friend. We usually see them every year and the cub is bang in the middle age wise between her two. We met at Uni, living together as strangers, and leaving as a quirky friendship that has weathered distance, time and life changes. We always make our way back to each other, but I can’t think I’ve dreaded telling her anything more. It kind of felt like it was going to be worse than telling the parentals.

We arrived in the wilds of Scotland, pitched the tent in my home of birth, and set about enjoying ourselves while resolutely ignoring anything that might be going on in the real world. The downfall of that was the phone call the first day in, to say that the MRI had flagged up some ‘sensitive’ areas that would need another ultrasound! Well of course it bloody did. I could have written that chapter. I would have to wait until I got home for the letters to confirm when this would happen and when I possibly might then have surgery. More waiting.

The next sticking point was the meet up with the most beautiful girl in the wold and tell her horrible news. I managed to do it in the rain, in the woods, while the children ran feral. I mean you can’t really choose a good location to drop that bomb shell! So that set a tone for the whole holiday every time we met as it just hung over every conversation – what did I need to do next, when would that happen. And I just couldn’t get away from the situation anymore that this was really happening to me.

I’m not going to lie, I had a couple of dark days on holiday. I was a bit ratty (that does happen in a tent over two weeks usually anyway! But this was a level up!), I was convinced the skin was different in the area of the lump, I was also convinced it was bigger. But campsite communal showers aren’t really conducive for having a good inspection in good light. Neither is a tent, while a child runs about wondering why you’re flashing boobs at her daddy! We aren’t that weird!!

However, I was determined that for the majority of the time, I would make the most of being away from home. We stayed up late, we slept in late. We had lazy days where we went to the beach, park, back to the beach. We went for a lot of strolls in gorgeous woodland. We visited a treetop adventure park which was an amazing day. And while we didn’t experience the hot weather that we had previously had in the summer (I mean that is just our luck – have I explained our luck already, its hilarious!), we didn’t get soaking wet (always a bonus in a tent) and we laughed. As always, we laughed and laughed a lot. Its what we do. And it felt good. Really good.

18/08/18

The long journey home was hard. We had gone to sleep in a gale and woke up in not much better conditions. Getting a car packed, tent down and keeping a five year old from losing it was somewhat of a challenge. And then the kicker… as we all went to get a shower I decided to take the car up to the shower block. The battery was dead!! You couldn’t make it up – the previous year the exact same thing had happened, on the exact same campsite at the exact point in our journey to go home. And we had blamed the child for it! Thinking she had faffed with too many buttons and caused it to go flat, that year we had ran round like lunatics trying to find jump leads. This time, we had been prepared (although they were packed quite far down in the boot!), but a quick chat to some friendly camping neighbours and we had an engine running while we took turns to sit keeping it running while the other showered. That ended the holiday with more laughter!

It was then a long journey home. Seven hours where we persevered with seventy billion versions of I Spy until I did hand my phone over for the last hour. Thank goodness for data!! We were all exhausted on the arrival back home.

And there they were – the letters. A further ultrasound appointment on the 22 August, and another week later the consultant, eight and a half weeks since I had first found a lump, six weeks since they had confirmed it was cancer. And all the while I had to live with cancer in my body. And I could feel it eating my soul a little now. I wanted it out. I really just wanted it out, and to deal with the next part of the journey.

I had this. I had too.

Random thoughts …..

25/07/18

  • Got to say denial is the best form of survival at first. Its easy to fall into, ignore the facts, avoid Google articles, but then social media / standard media seem to know. And I mean know. All articles I see are related, someone who is in end stage cancer, writing letters to her child. What am I supposed to do with that information.
  • Why are other people seeming to be more upset than I am? I’m still ignoring its happening. Everyone else is treating it for real. I don’t quite know how to deal with that.
  • The lump is huge. I mean huge. How did I not even feel it before. It feels deformed. Much more pronounced. How did Ryan not feel it. Why?
  • Who do you tell? I’m going to be off work, I’m going to be unavailable, I’m going to meet people who I used to know and look different. How do you announce it? How do you drop it into random conversation.
  • Other people are quick to tell you about their troubles / the person / friend / aunt / cousin who had breast cancer. They got well / wasn’t a bother / chemo was a breeze / didn’t lose their hair / died (WTAF). Why do I need to hear this? It’s the eggshells that I feel like I’m walking on. I end up apologising for giving people bad news. And nodding that it will be all ok. Of course it will be. IT ISN’T – what would have been ok would have been this never happening.
  • I’m worried about the historical issues I’ve had with surgery, the healing, bruises, bleeding,  the scars that more surgery will give (I’ve already got enough, I don’t need anymore!).
  • My breathing is out of control. For the last couple of years, I have started showing stress n my breathing, the worse my stress the more my breathing becomes out of control and I end up gasping for breath. This has not helped that situation whatsoever and where previous stress was usually related to work or the child, now it is random.
  • I feel like an outsider looking in on my own body, my own life, my families life. I keep getting thoughts on what life would look like if I wasn’t here. Would they all just end up forgetting me, would the child get enough love from all those around her without me? Would she grow up to be the most amazing human being that I want to her to be? Does she even need me for that?
  • My family, my baby, my world. This is the thought that does break me every day. I love them more than life itself. I couldn’t live without them, but they might have to live without me. I don’t want to miss a thing.
  • I wrote down Cancer for the first time. In my little black book that I’ve started to use to document the journey I’m on. This was in the middle of my list of random thoughts and I finally wrote the word down. When do you ever imagine that you have to write the word about yourself?
  • I ran Race for Life a few years ago for a close family friend who was fighting cancer at the time. Its now bizarre that I could be running it in the future for my left boob! Is this for real?
  • A work colleague gave me books. This was the most thoughtful gift. No meaning, no grand gesture, but a gesture non the less. And it meant the world to me. As an avid reader I hope to at least make use of some time off and read.
  • Cancer – the word spreads fear and dread doesn’t it? Spells heartbreak in just on word. You always assume ‘it’ll never happen to me’. Naivety is a beautiful thing. I HATE IT.
  • Five weeks and no crying, I haven’t cried once. I nearly broke a couple of times saying the word out loud, but now I’m like stone with it. I probably do need to cry. A lot. But I know if I started I might not stop. I’m too stubborn to start though. I’m not a cryer by nature (but reflecting back I do usually wake up from anaesthetic crying!) and I don’t want to cry as then I’ll feel like I’m broken. And I am not broken. I am a fighter and to me fighting means I am not going to cry.

I don’t like a journey without a plan (well, apart from our holidays! I like them to be unplanned as it’s the only time we don’t have too!). My entire life is planned otherwise, but now my journey is in other peoples hands. Strangers to me. I am putting my life in their hands and I am not sure how I feel about that.

But I’m still here and I’m fighting it. I’ve got this!!