So, this whole cancer thing…

Weirdly, at this point in my life I think I feel happier and more content and less stressed than I ever have been, and more accepting of my faults and flaws (of which there are many!). But it has taken something pretty major to put things in perspective and make me appreciate what I DO have. This blog isn’t going to be just about cancer, it will mostly be about FAR more joyful stuff but I can’t really avoid the subject given I’ve been living with this stupid disease for over five years.  I’ll get it all out the way now though so it puts everything in my blog in context and I can start posting about other things!

The story so far…

I was diagnosed with both primary and secondary breast cancer (in my bones) in a delightful double whammy in the summer of 2009.  I underwent a mastectomy and radiotherapy and was on hormonal therapy. The cancer decided not to behave though and, last year, spread to my liver…not so good.  Then I had eight months of chemo to try and shrink the tumours. It did and I’m back on hormonal therapies to hopefully keep things stable for a while.

If you’re lucky enough not to be au fait  with the whole secondary or metastatic cancer thing, basically when cancer spreads beyond the original site in the breast it’s not generally considered curable…it is Stage IV cancer. There is no Stage V. Your treatment is designed to contain it…to stop it spreading.  I know this will work for a while, then at some stage when we’ve exhausted all the options,  it won’t work.  I don’t know when that will be so I just have to pack in as much living as I can into the time I have left and try to focus on the now. I hold true to the words of Maggie Keswick Jencks, the founder of the wonderful Maggie’s Caring Cancer Centres, when she said “The thing is not to lose the joy of living in the fear of dying”.  I’m reckon I’m doing pretty well at that at the moment but I am lucky in my unluckiness in a way. So far my symptoms have been fairly minimal. At the moment I’m not in much pain, I am mobile, I can get on with things.  I just have to keep focusing on the happy…keep seeing the beauty in the broken – the beauty in me and my life. The same goes for all of us with scars, visible or not. They don’t necessarily define you…you may think they are ugly, that you are a bit broken but like Kintsugi maybe you are all the more beautiful for them…

Anyway, on with the nice stuff now…

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  1. marcy westerling · December 7, 2014

    Great attitude – life with cancer and beyond cancer.
    Marcy Westerling


    • TheKintsugiGirl · December 10, 2014

      Thanks Marcy – am liking your attitude too – Livingly Dying is a good way to look at it! There are positives to have come out of this, a new found appreciation for things, even the small things, an awareness of how precious each day is and also the people around us! Thanks again for coming by my very new blog and joining me on my tentative steps into this new world! I’ll come visit you at your blog and keep an eye on how you are doing. All the best. E-J x


  2. Hamish 'Managua' Gunn · January 2, 2015

    PLEASE stay wth us at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Kristjaan, who runs the site is a really good guy. Every day there is a new prompt. I just think it would be nice.


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