Nearly two years ago, a lump was found in my breast when I went for a completely routine visit to my gynae. I had absolutely none of the risk factors for breast cancer: I have no family history and no first degree relative who had breast cancer; I have 4 children, all of whom I breast fed; I was not very overweight, ate healthily and was fit and strong. Yet, there I was with this thing growing inside me, sneakily colonising my cells.

Even me, it seemed. Even me.

The day the lump was confirmed as being malignant, I began writing a blog, chronicling my thoughts and experiences on my journey with cancer. I am a writer and speaking or writing about things helps me to deal with them. Or, at least, to begin to. The blog was my way of making sense of what I have been through and what it has meant to me; and, perhaps, to those around me.

I am not alone in having been on this type of journey. There are so many women out there who have their own stories to tell. Perhaps if more people listened to these stories more carefully, the stories would all have happy endings. You never can tell.

This is an extract from the first post:

Yesterday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There. I’ve said it – in writing. I’ve even said it out loud. I think that I avoided that for a while, as saying it makes it seem so much more real. Well, I’m not so sure how much more real you can get than finding out that the lump they found in one boob and did a biopsy of is actually malignant.

Real and, I thought, would be absolutely terrifying. Well, not really. I’ve done being terrified. And I’m sure I will again. But this is not such a bad monster. It feels a little non-real, but it also feels like something that can be overcome. I know that I’ll be okay. It’s going to be a horrible – and quite long, I think – ride, but I will get there. Guess I am going to be shaving my hair again at next year’s Shavathon!

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