I was overtired, stressed & couldn't be sure whether my friends were just reading my blog to humour me - cos they felt sorry for me - as I'd obviously put some effort into creating 'the latest post'!
I also wondered if I'd done the right thing by advertising the fact that I had Breast Cancer all over the Internet for the whole World to have a look at! Bit late for worrying about that now anyway......!!
Since then, I've had loads of positive comments, emails, Facebook & Twitter messages from people, encouraging me to carry on. Most encouraging is the fact that the blog is now being read by people in different parts of the World & they're coming back to read more of my posts!
One of my really good friends from work, Andrea, came to visit me on Friday morning & she was telling me that all of my friends at work talk about my posts. We were discussing my writing style (I write as I speak - swearing included!) & what I hope to achieve in all of this.
Now some people have been calling me brave &/or inspirational.
I've said it before, I'll say it again; I don't think I'm either of those things! My definition of 'brave' is someone like a Firefighter or a Soldier. Someone who consciously puts themselves at risk on behalf of others. I didn't want or ask to have cancer so I don't see how I can be brave &, as for the inspirational bit, well - I think I'm just 'getting on with it' in my own way. How do you know YOU wouldn't deal with it in the same way as me?
See that's the thing.
Until something like this happens, you just don't know how you're going to react.
Going back to chatting with Andrea, I was telling her that what I hope to 'achieve' in all of this, what I want to get across to people is that, at some point in our lives - & this is so true for many people already - we'll ALL have someone who is pretty close to us who is diagnosed with this disease. I think it's important for as many people as possible to have some kind of idea as to what a cancer diagnosis can mean for some people.
The following has been taken directly from the Breast Cancer Care Website (http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/):
Those are just some of THE FACTS.
"Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8.
Having breast cancer doesn't necessarily mean that someone is going to die. Better treatments mean that more and more people are now living long and full lives after breast cancer. It’s thought that around 550,000 women are alive in the UK who have been diagnosed with breast cancer."
My intention when writing this blog, apart from keeping my friends & family up to date with what's happening with me, is just to try & help others understand a little better, what a person might have to go through - both emotionally & physically - when fighting cancer.
I realise that I've been extremely lucky with my diagnosis & prognosis. Ok, there's a chance my cancer may return - a 13% chance actually if you've read my earlier post 13! Unlucky for some? but to me, that translates as there's an 87% chance that it won't return.
I'm very much aware that there are women (& men) out there who are less fortunate than me & whose prognosis is not as hopeful as mine. I cannot even begin to imagine what they're going through.
But cancer doesn't always mean death.
It's a sh*t thing to have to go through & it's the biggest rollercoaster you will ever find yourself on but, we all need to be aware of it. Not just Breast Cancer - any cancer - but I feel I'm only qualified (& I use the term 'qualified' very loosely here), to talk about my own experience.
By blogging, I'm hoping that maybe more people will take a little bit more time to self-examine. Cos that's how I found my lump. If I hadn't found it when I did, well......it goes without saying really doesn't it?
I know that some of my male friends read my blog & over the past few months, those that have remained close to me (cos sadly, some of my male friends have legged it since I've been diagnosed!), have been able to talk to me more openly about this disease.
Now, if you know me personally, you will know that my life's an open book - there's no secrets here! I speak as I find & not many subjects are off limits!
I understand that some people can't handle this - if you don't wanna listen to me then you have the option to walk away - but, with my friends of the opposite sex, I will often just volunteer the information anyway & then they'll ask the questions as I go along.
Cos they are curious. They just don't know how to broach the subject. I like to think I've made talking about &, understanding Breast Cancer, a little bit easier for them.
I just want them to be able to understand how a woman might be feeling if she gets a diagnosis like mine. The next person to be diagnosed may be - God forbid - their mother, sister or daughter. & rather than them having no clue as to what might be in store for the woman, they can drop onto this blog or, speak to me if they need a little perspective.
I LOVE that a lot of my male friends are a bit more confident in asking me questions now; they can look me in the eye when they ask how I'm feeling. They don't scuttle away when they see me coming!
Sometimes they're still a bit "Errr.....hiya Chez....how's the erm.....the erm..." whilst nodding in the direction of my chest area!
"The boob thing?" I ask & then laugh! "I'm wearing my false one today & I'm doing good!" I tell them. Nine times out of ten they laugh (with relief I think!) cos once we've got that bit over with, we can talk about other things. They've been great to be fair. They keep telling me that I'm still attractive, looking well (they're lying, I look like sh*t & I know it!) but they're doing their best to reassure me, bless 'em! Thanks boys! *big kiss* Mwah!!
A lot of my female friends have also said that reading my blog has been 'an education'.
For quite a few people, I'm the first person that's 'close' to them that has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Well I'm no teacher either & definitely not an expert - I only know how I feel & I know a little bit about the type of cancer that I myself had. We're all learning together!!
In order for me to take back a little bit of control (I'm a control freak!), I needed to learn as much about my cancer as possible. So that I can feel like I have a bit of a say in what's happening to me.
Anyway, this is why I've carried on blogging. To raise awareness more than anything else. To let people know how I'm getting on & to let them know that you can still have a sense of humour, a life......whatever you want really, even though you've had cancer.
Obviously the diagnosis has affected me; I'm living a different kind of 'normal' now. But I'm still the same person. (Maybe just a little more psychotic than before due to the hormone treatments, ha ha!!).
I'm glad that people feel they can email me or phone me to ask me absolutely anything that they might want to know. Like I said, I'm no expert but if I can help someone out, I will.
So, as long as people want to keep reading, I'll keep blogging!
& what about somebody writing a 'guest post'?
Anybody fancy doing that?
Let me know.......! Love Chez. xx