I’m Vicky and I am 53. I was diagnosed in 2016 with ER/PR HER2 Negative Breast Cancer.
I never checked myself, by pure chance one day I caught myself in the mirror and noticed a small dent that was the start of an emotional 18-month rollercoaster. The biggest impact finding I had cancer was the emotional shock of my diagnosis. I was unable to accept the status “cancer patient”.
Cancer has shown me many things; my husband is the strongest person in our relationship. He is everything that I needed and more. He calmed my anxiety, found the words that I couldn’t seem to find myself, was good at saying “yes”, made sure he did whatever he could during treatment and sometimes just suffered with me because more often than not there was nothing he could do. He most importantly makes me laugh every single day.
Dealing with cancer is an emotional journey. Cancer has given me fear. Fear of every single ache, pain or cough. I was initially told I was just having radiotherapy but following a lumpectomy they discovered it had spread to my lymph nodes and that I would need chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I managed only four out of the six gruelling rounds of this poison, and then 20 sessions of radiotherapy. When I was going through treatment, I looked for silver linings, I couldn’t change the situation I was in but I could change the way I approached and experienced it.
When cancer treatment started to affect how much I could do and how I looked, it made me feel even worse than I already did. I stopped being my own worst critic and holding myself to all the unrealistic expectations I had imposed on myself. It certainly wasn’t easy the whole time, with feelings of despair, death, exhaustion in my head but I tried to be resilient and fill my time with building positive habits.
Cancer is not a diagnosis I would ever, ever wish on anyone but Cancer brought me new friends that I never would have found otherwise. They are the people that just get it. Since I didn’t get a choice whether I had cancer, I now embrace life and try to smile and laugh every single day.