Like all good fairy tales this one must also come to an end! It’s time for Cinderella to hang up her ball gown and get back in her kitchen, that’s totally figuratively speaking, this Cinders never got into the kitchen in the first place! After much lotus eating and naval gazing we are on our way home. I could easily have stayed longer but would either have ended up with gout, too much rich food and good things
Another day of great Greek food, wandering around, Molivos which is a beautiful Ottoman and Greek town.
When I came round hours later I quickly realized that I still had a breast, but also without a shadow of a doubt had cancer too. I think I was probably pleased to have my breasts intact. The surgeon thought that at 33 I should enjoy having them and perhaps didn’t fully understand the family history. So with a simple lumptectomy and breast still intact I began my own cancer journey. In 2003 almost no one I knew had a computer or a mobile phone, however I managed to altert the troops to what was up! One sister in the Isle of Man, Mary, another in California, Lucy and then my mates in London. We whispered, planned and plotted and the decision was made.
Our mum had died only 3 years earlier of breast cancer and now I was going to have to break the news to dad. Or do the next best thing, get a sister to do my dirty work for me … Mary would fly to London, open a bottle of wine and tell dad. We have never been a family to put the kettle on in moments of stress or sadness, instead we have eaten some of our best meals and shared some of our most memorable bottles of wine. I always say that in your worst days you can live some of your happiest moments. I have such vivid memories of the most indescribable intimacy which Neset and I shared in that terrifying moment.
I felt utterly loved and cocooned with the love of a friend, husband, father, so close that nothering could separate us. And that’s when my mate Crazy Lucy, aka Lulo, or the Chickster rocked up!
So for any of you who may be wondering who won the game of noughts and crosses … I’m not sure myself.
On holiday! School’s out, Europe is heading to the coast, the kids are all glued to their i-pads but what are us terminals up to? When I asked my oncologist if I could go to Japan he said ‘NO!’ But he did say Europe is fine, so after a ten hour drive, an hour on the ferry I’m in a place I love, Lesbos. So I have decided not to write too much but simply share a few beautiful photos with you:
And back to the serious business of being a terminal breast cancer patient … Friday was day one of my new course of radiotherapy. It’s my treatment of choice but that comes at a cost as it’s everyday and a 200 km round journey. It does get a little tedious and rather tiring but I focus on the benefits. I’m pleased to say that I personally am not doing the driving and generally post zap I like to have a snooze on the way home. On Wednesday I also had to go to the hospital in order to be measured up for this course of treatment.
Invasive carsinoma by any other name would still be cancer. Everyone who’s had cancer, has a diagnosis story. And so my own story begins – in the shower. In 2003, at 33 I was living it up on the southern Turkish coastline, a golden life, working as a teacher, tanned and blond, the centre of my own world and feeling like a princess.
I have been totally stunned by the response to my blog! The lovely comments on the site and also through Face Book.
It has been Inspiring and given me so much energy,For lots of reasons today’s been a great day, time and place arranged for our fledgling Antalya women with Breast Cancer group I do want to encourage you all to keep reading.
As a former English teacher in my local town I know many people and if I don’t know them that doesn’t much matter bacause they know me or more likely my husband Ali, or my now dearly departed father-in-law ‘Gök Huseyin.’ There’s a typical conversation which can be had many many times in any day and goes something like this:
Them: How are you?
Me: I’m fine thanks and you?
Them: I’m fine too.
And everyone goes on their way or there are a few variations in these parts which may include reference to the weather, price of tomatoes and football.
However with me there are sometimes other interjections based on what people think they know of my health and these can go something like this:
Them: How are you? You look really well!
YOU LOOK REALLY WELL That is red rag to the bull and my least favourite expression ever!
Me: Oh you know! (I’m trying to discourage them from continuing with this line of questioning)
Them: So have you finished your treatment?
I’VE BEEN BALD MORE TIMES THAN MOST PEOPLE HAVE HAD A HOT DINNER!
That pretty much says it all.End of story? Well there have, of course, been a few important events and details along the way.Two lives, being reborn in Turkey, breast cancer at 33, stage 4 at 40 but still here at 47. Today I have decided to begin putting a few of my thoughts down on paper. Better late than never. And to begin doing SOMETHING which someone, somewhere may actually read and find helpful. And in the process it will help me GET MY SHIT TOGETHER!