Breast cancer is a thief…


The view from the cancer assessment unit above, the bonus of a trip to the oncology centre in Edinburgh! 

I wrote the poem below in October which as anyone affected by breast cancer knows it the breast cancer awareness month. I tried to avoid the cliche of posting this then. As breast cancer doesn’t go away come November. It’s there all the time, even when treatment is over. Of course as time passes it fades from the forefront of your thoughts and becomes a background hum you can’t quite switch off. And the hum gets louder as new scans come around or unexpected triggers hit you in the solar plexus. Andrew once said after an appointment which although reassuring was stressful, he reflected “it never goes away”. It’s the fear that is so easily triggered especially if the cancer advances to secondary breast cancer. I’m regularly at the oncology department now and most times there is something that worries me. My most recent is anaemia after starting the new drug. 

I’m a sleepysaurus and indulging in audio books and Netflix. Any recommendations are welcome, by the way! But Christmas is coming and I’ve been doing my best to plan ahead. I know it will be fun and I’m determined not to get stressed! But it's hard to think of the many people who approach the holiday worrying about money, missing relatives from their homelands or trying not to think that these special times are now numbered. I’m trying to do my best to help in whatever way we can. But it’s the connection I value at these times, not gifts or groaning tables of food uneaten. It’s important to remember that when I fret about gifts or when I feel tempted to over order food! 

This year when we’ve seen such a fractured world and deepening poverty and for me personally i’ve had to face  the spread of my cancer, time with those I love is the most precious gift of all. 

So here’s  my poem straight from the fears and the love at the start of advent.

Breast cancer is a thief

Stealing health

Stealing peace of mind

Stealing future dreams

Breast cancer changes your body

Changes your hopes

Changes your friendships

Changes your energy

Breast cancer makes you grieve 

for so many things

But - cancer showed me I’m loved

and I’m so grateful for that

At the end -and the beginning and all way through 

it’s really only love that matters.


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