July will always hold a special place in my heart as it is the month which I got told that I no longer have cancer!! I always treat the day as though it is my birthday (I got another chance at life so to speak so why not eh?!) so I did the normal thing of bringing in cakes for work and going out for a special meal in the evening with Andy.
Although I make a point of celebrating this day each year doesn’t mean that there is no worry throughout the year – any little twinge and alarm bells automatically start ringing, but I do have an amazing doctor behind me, who knows how worried I get and will see me at a drop of a hat. He is reassurance to my worry. I know the signs and the symptoms of cervical cancer, so I also have that as an advantage.
For me, my cancer journey has been an easy one compared to some, but it is still a life changing event for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to have cancer again, but I would much prefer to have it myself that see any one of my loved ones go through it and in a roundabout way, I’m glad I have cancer – here’s why:
- My relationship with my Mum has never been the best – I’m jealous of those girls who have the most amazing relationships with their Mums – but the relationship I have with my Mum now has improved tenfold. For me this is a gift in itself and it was given to me by my cancer.
- I would have been stuck in a unhappy marriage. My cancer opened my eyes to life and what is important in it. I finally found a pair of balls (after speaking with a friend of course!) and ditched him – I know I can put my hand on my heart and say this would have taken a lot longer to happen if I hadn’t been put through what I had been through.
- Finally doing things for me. I never really did this as it was always about the ex and what he wanted to do. Now my new relationship, it’s a partnership. We are there for each other, but if I want to go out on a last minute drinking session with the girls then I can. I wouldn’t have dreamed about doing this before!
I want to tell people my story – I want young girls to know how important smear tests are and they can literally save your life. I want to be that person that girls can turn to and seek advise, which is why I’m always so open and honest about everything. I don’t want others to be turning to Google to find answers like what I did and scare yourself even more (let’s face it, it always tells you the worst even if you have broken a nail!). The unknown is a scary and dark place when you are by yourself – I want to be that candle and reassurance that everything is fine.
I’m now on yearly appointments and haven’t had a bad smear since before I was diagnosed and fingers crossed it will continue every year! The next battle I have now is having children – with everything my cervix has been through it straight down the IVF route for us – but I’ll save that story for another day!
I’m thankful for having cancer, it has completely changed me as a person and changed the way in which I view life and the people I choose to have in my life. I’m now a much more positive person than what I was 5 years ago!
Have you had cancer or a cancer scare before? How has it changed you as person?