OH HI THERE. Yes, I’m back. I’ve been going through a bit of time my counsellor and I have been calling my “restoration” period, so I decided to take a step back from blogging while I did that, but I’m here now and I’m keen to get my finger out and start writing for you folks again.
It’s a bit of a weird time for me (LOL – the last ten months have been so normal, yeah?) as I shift from cancer patient back into the real world. I’m feeling less like a broken toaster these days, but some days, I do wake up and feel like I’m not really functioning that well. It’s quite hard to know where I’m going to position my blog, now that my cancer treatment has finished. Obviously, I’ve still got quite a lot to say, but I don’t know how interested anyone will be in reading it if it’s on a different subject.
There’s still plenty of breast cancer related stuff going on my life – I’m now officially a Boobette for the incredible CoppaFeel! so I’ll be going to schools, workplaces, WI’s and anywhere that will have me to talk about the importance of self checking and my story. I’ve somehow ended up being a model in the Breast Cancer Care fashion show in November. I’ve got my first post-treatment mammogram coming up where my good boob gets squashed and scanned to make sure there’s no nasty business hanging around in there, and I’ve got all the usual scanxiety associated with that as a breast cancer survivor. I still have a surgery to deal with next year (and the build up while I figure out how I’m going to fatten myself up enough so my magnificent surgeon can make me a new boob out of a tummy tuck – queue a three week trip to Sicily for gelato, connolo’s, pizza and pasta).
I have humongous visions of setting up my own charity to offer support for younger women affected by cancer but back in the real world, I’m trying to establish myself as a freelance social media consultant, copywriter and journalist. I’m pitching feature ideas, offering social media strategies, tinkering with my new professional website and discovering the new world of lunches when you can’t just dash to the Pret that’s five minutes walk away. Because there isn’t one. And this can occasionally lead to disasters. Please note, bulgar wheat with bacon lardons and feta, while sounding fairly delicious, is all of the weird textures.
I’m still checking my boobs obsessively every day (YOU DON’T NEED TO DO IT THAT OFTEN) and I’m still trying to come to terms with the person I am after cancer. I’m still figuring out my style now that I care what I look like again and I’m still eagerly awaiting the resurgence of my eyebrows. I’m writing more creatively and I’m just trying to figure out my new normal. Some days that’s easy. Some days it feels overwhelming and suffocating and impossible. I feel like I have the opportunity to do something incredible and if I don’t, if I waste this opportunity, I will have failed. Which feels like quite a lot of pressure on the days my brain wants to tell me I’m a failure and I’ll never amount to anything and I should just give up and crawl back into a hole in the ground, and I’m foolish for ever thinking that I can achieve anything. But that’s just when The Blues are rearing their ugly head and Anxiety Alice is out in full force.
And then there’s the anniversary of my diagnosis coming up. Which is weird. I was struck yesterday when an accidental photo I took of Chris and I on holiday in Cornwall last year popped up in my On This Day on Facebook (I so think there’s a post in the torment of timehop to be written somewhere. Watch this space). I had cancer then. But I didn’t know it. And I look so carefree and happy and healthy and I have so much hair. And so much has changed since then, but so much has stayed the same too. But I, we, have both been through so much. Someone on Twitter said to me when they look at pictures of themselves just before they got diagnosed, it’s like looking through a telescope, and I absolutely agree. I was that person once, and I still kind of am that person, but I’m so very different at the same time. It makes me feel a bit sick if I think about it for too long.
So I suppose what I’m saying is this. I’ll keep writing my blog. Sometimes it’ll be about breast cancer stuff. Like being a proud Boobette and (hopefully) not falling flat on my face in The Breast Cancer Care Show and dealing with scanxiety, and prepping for surgery. About my mission to make life easier for young women with breast cancer.But there might be some other stuff too. About my thoughts on life, love, London. Stuff that I want to write that no-one else fancies publishing. Writing this blog, particularly during my treatment, has given me more faith in my writing ability than I’ve ever had before, and that’s largely down to you people reading and commenting and nominating me for awards and just telling me you believe in what I’m doing.
I hope you’ll stick around to see what happens next…