5 years after my cancer diagnosis. I survived. But I am not a Survivor.

When you get diagnosed with cancer and you have a Google (don’t recommend) the first thing you look at is if you’re going to die. And if so, when.

The kind of cancer I had is…

It’s a laptop, obviously.

After you’ve had a career break — through maternity leave, paternity leave, sometimes even a long holiday or sabbatical — your confidence can take a knock.

At least that’s what happened for me.

Where did I leave that project?

How did I make that report?

Where are all my pens?

The long trip back to normal hasn’t been, and still isn’t, without turbulence…

I keep starting to write this post and then ‘normal’ goes out the window.

The last time I was about to hit ‘Publish’, I got a cold. And that became a chest infection. …

I’m ‘leaking’

You know your day is not going well when you’re huddled in a disabled toilet crying in the mirror and trying to catch your breath before someone outside thinks there’s someone dying and/or having sex in the cubicle. And it’s not quite 10am.

That’s how I found myself one drizzly…

Let’s do Christmas and get the hell out…

Milla looking past me. I suspect for a high-sugar Christmas treat.

Christmas Eve this year will mark 18 months of life with cancer. When this all started, after I began to get my head around the whole thing, I remember that I decided that I would just need to give a year of…

…but I know someone who will listen.

Not her. She’s a terrible listener.

Someone’s just asked me a simple question and I’m starting to cry.

“What’s going on there?”
“That sounds totally shit.”

Just a few of the things my counsellor (let’s call her ‘S’) would say that usually lead to some sort of helpful realisation. Or sometimes just more tears.


…or reviews of what I’ve watched to take my mind off cancer.

There’s a lot of hanging around when you’ve got cancer.

Since being diagnosed, I’ve had 8 months of chemo, a month of radiotherapy and 5 different surgeries. I’m actually back in hospital right now awaiting a possible 6th for (another) infection.

With that in mind, forgive the poor formatting, spelling…

This is a bottle of my blood. It’s how I marked the passage of time for one month.

I don’t know how to make it back from this. I don’t know how to get to a normal life. I’m afraid that this is my life. This is what I get. …

The ruin of my chest

<Disclaimer: if you’ve made it past that picture then you’ve probably gathered this is a gorey one. If you fancy something different, but recent, try my take on counselling>

“I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do, what should I do, what should I do????” was…

Or is that just in the UK? Or is that just me?

For the last two years I’ve been pregnant, the mother of a newborn or dealing with cancer. Sometimes I’ve been more than one of those things at the same time. That’s meant that people have tended not to…


Ex-scientist, stalled writer, current mammy. Went on #maternityleave, ended up with #breastcancer. Not mutually exclusive, it turns out. Views my own.

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