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The upside of cancer....

82 REPLIES 82
Pandabear
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Thank you all for your posts.  I am a few weeks post treatment for Grade 1 BC and still finding things quite tricky to deal with.  Reading all you positive comments has really cheered me up. 

My upside of cancer - like many of you,  you learn to know who your friends are, and who can be depended on.  My friends organised a rota to take me to the hospital appointments,  because they were adamant that I was not going alone,  even if they couldn't come in with me, due to Covid. 

My sister looked after me post op and was absolutely fantastic - it brought us closer together. 

Despite the negative press, I was screened, diagnosed and treated during the pandemic.  Whilst I wouldn't want cancer,  I cannot fault the efficiency of the journey. 

Hope you are all ok. 

TKN
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi,

Thats a good prognosis, my cancer was also grade 1 and slow growing, I had a lumpectomy and am coming to the end of my radiotherapy, I have two sessions left. I am also taking Letrozole for 5 years.

I too enjoy yoga and pilates, so good for the mind and body. Especially in these uncertain times xx

HoneyHugs
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi there

Thank you for thinking of me.....my post op went well and I knew from the biopsy that it was early but

the op results showed nothing in the lymph nodes and it was down graded from grade 2 to grade 1 (which is very slow growing). 

Now what is interesting is that between the biopsy and the operation I started meditating every day and doing yoga every day.....which alleviates stress and helps to increase your immune system, so that could be a reason why it was downgraded.

I have been put of Anastrozole tablets which don't mix with calcium supplements which created nausea and thirst, but since stopping the calcium I am slowly getting better.

I have a telephone consultation next week to discuss radiotherapy but because of the C Virus, not quite sure what to do to?  Are you having treatment?

All the best

Keep safe xx

TKN
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi there,

Just thinking of you and wondering how your post op appointment went and your treatment plan. Hope you are feeling ok especially in these challenging times we are facing at the moment.

Here to chat If you want or you can PM me.

Stay safe and take care xx

HoneyHugs
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi there

Thanks for your advise....Yes, my post op app is tomorrow, so starting to get a bit nervous today!

I hope that your journey proves to be a good one and a big hug to you for being so brave.

All the best for the future xx

 

 

 

 

TKN
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi,

I hope your results will be good, do you have a post op app yet?

As for the Letrozole I have only been taking it for nearly a month. I do seem to have some extra aches and pains now and again but don't really know whether its Letrozole related or not. I have to take mine for 5 years so I'm hoping its going to be manageable as it is a very important part of the treatment.

I'm sorry to hear that it is your third time around and can only imagine how you are finding it difficult to be positive but primary breast cancer is very treatable if that is an upside.

I think when we need to be, we are all stronger than we think.

Take care x

HoneyHugs
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi there

I have just had a lumpectomy and still awaiting my results to know what's next but I know that at the least it will be radiotherapy and letrozole for 10 years they say!!!  Just wondering how you got on with the Letrozole as the list of side effects seem endless?

This is my 3rd primary cancer, 6 years ago I had stage 1 womb and ovarian and at the time thought myself really lucky that the ovarian was discovered only after the operation results but at such an early stage.  This time again they think it is Stage 1 but this being the 3rd time, I am struggling to find the up side.  My doctor says that it is RARE to get so many primaries, so anyone reading this take heart that the chances are that your cancer will be the only one you have.

TKN
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi Ladies,

I had a lumpectomy on the 16th Jan, have just started on Letrozole and radiotherapy will be starting in March, what a crazy time! I am trying to stay positive and know that other ladies have been through and are going through so much worse.

I just wanted to add that I also feel different in my outlook on life and myself, I have received gifts, cards, flowers from all sorts of people who truly care about me, its very touching.. I've found that I have taken a step back from my usual frantic life and began to appreciate the small things in life that mean so much, time with family, headspace, my own wellbeing etc. It seems a shame that it takes something like this to be able to look at things differently but then again it is a positive thing..

Today I'm going to do a face mask, hair mask and have a lovely soak in the bath while the wind and rain howl outside and just breathe...

Positive thinking to all the brave ladies out there. Tx

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: The upside of cancer....

I have reported post - the t shirt certainly is " interesting " !!
Mai7
Community Champion

Re: The upside of cancer....

UK Shipping for a faqunation tshirt is very expensive: $144.98

 

 

Anne30
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

I have also just found this thread and it’s beautiful. I have found that people I hardly know have quietly supported me in quite oblique ways. I am 52 and work full time and some of the youngsters at work (the same age as my children) have quietly done things I would normally do. We can’t be positive all the time as having cancer is not nice but it’s so heart warming to read these posts
Bubbler
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi ladies. I've just found this site and can only say how delighted I am to have done so. You are all so inspirational. I have just finished my treatment ( lumpectomy, radiotherapy  and letrozole), what a combination. But I feel a bit lost at times . I'm on my way to a " reassurance" visit to my BC Nurse. But will definatly be back on site soon. Keep up the great work ladies. This is all so reassuring too. Main upside is the love and care from my OH. Whowever knew love could be so strong. Mainly feeling positive, but there are moments when I wonder what 

Hit me 4 months ago. NHS staff are fantastic supportive, caring. Couldnt ask for more from them. 

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: The upside of cancer....

My upside of cancer is that it has taught me how deep mine and my partners love for each other really is. How to live in the NOW. Probably most of all its taught me how to focus on what really matters.

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Thanks to all who have posted for this. I'm about to start treatment, despite diagnosis over a month ago, and am fighting very hard to keep the usual smile on my face.

An intial plus for me is the constant reminder about how great my kids are. Two grown-ups are doing their best, in their own ways, to be supportive. Playing on their own strengths I'm seeing their best sides.

My school-age kids have tidied my house today - bless! I'm a complete slob and they've gone and done what I've not managed to do for ages, even before diagnosis.

Kids have friends, and those friends have parents. I'm touched by the practical caring from unexpected directions. "Would your girlie like to come and spend the night? No problem, just let me know, she's very welcome and a pleasure to have, any time you need it." Pleasure at how nice some mums are, and pride in how my kids are so good when in other people's houses.

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Bumping it up for any new ladies. We so need some good stories after all the s**t we have to go through...:-(

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

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CheshireCheese
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

bump - 'cos this thread is so positive!

Lulu34
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Reeb your post really made me LOLOLOL

Julie.... my lady garden fell out first before even i lost my hair on my head.... it was my leg hairs that clung on for dear life.

Lulu glad your loving your new hair despite the cold cap being a failure.

Lxxx

juliebtaurus
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Reeb your post really made me laugh. I think i second all of what other people have said about finding your true friends and coming closer together as a family. I have also enjoyed not having to shave legs,underarms and chin also a free barazilian in the lady garden area ( although this did cling on for dear life untill the end of chemo )but i think going on holiday and not having to worry about wearing light dresses or trousers in case my period came through so i was realy impressed by going through the chemopause.xxxJulie

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

The long 'catching up' phone calls from friends, friends that I've maybe taken for granted (and them me) over the years.. but having this chance to reach out and really connect, and appreciate just how special my girlfriends are. How awful it would be to never have a reason to step back and notice what special women I have in my life - some recent additions to the friendship fold, and others I have known since I was eleven years old - 30 years of friendship!

Sophie xx

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Re: The upside of cancer....

The first time in 20 years that I have no patches of psorasis. Psorasis skin cells are killed off by the chemo as they are also fast dividing cells. I know it will probably come back but I will be free of it for about 6 months post chemo. Funny but it took a friend to point out when I said my hand were so dry these days that it was probabl ynot due to the chemo but because I was not moisturising my psorasis twice a day so needed to start using hand cream.

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

As women are commenting on their hair....
An upside for me has been to see what I look like with a different hair style courtesy of the wig (which I LUV!).

Like many other women undergoing chemo I had to shave all my hair off just after second chemo session as I was losing it by the handful despite the cold cap. So I got myself a nice, funky wig in a completely different style from my own hair. My normal hair is quite curly and has been cut in a longish bob for a long long time. As they didn't have any wigs remotely resembling my natural hair when I went for the fitting I decided to go for a shorter, straighter style (I'll have to get used to short hair for a while once it grows back anyway)in a lovely aubergine colour. Go for the kill, I say!

Well, the new wig looks amazing and everybody is commenting on how chic and younger I look. 🙂 I LOVE IT!

Ok, what does that say about my real hair, I hear you say. The thing is I would have never had the courage to try a shorter/drastically different haircut ordinarily but I can see -thanks to my funky wig- that it might actually suit me.

Now I can't wait for my real hair to grow back to start afresh!
New look new me!

Take care

Lulu XX

Buzzy
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Reeb your post really made me laugh. Its good we can still maintain a sense of humour through all this isn't it?
I was going to make a cake today too. Perhaps I'll invite all my friends round to share it with me!
Debs
x

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi ho

After the cake making yesterday it would appear that it's a good thing I'll be off work for a while. Describing myself as a budding domestic goddess was a bit premature. The homemade jam was spreadable this time if a little runny but the sponge cake was not what you'd call light. Our four border collies, who like nothing better than rotting rabbit and sheep poo, turned their noses up and the left overs that were put on the bird table resulted in birds plummeting out of the sky - slight exaggeration but you get my drift. However the cake could be used as another measure of friendship - first you find out who your friends are when you tell them you have BC then the cake test; those who take one look at the cake and refuse (unreliable), those who take a piece but leave a chunk (ok in a crisis type) and those who persevere even though the jaw is breaking and teeth are falling out (true friends).

Whilst I'm on this I have another moan about the fickleness of my OH. I stuck a red dot on the under arm swelling from the node clearance and tried to persuade him that rather than losing out in the boob department he actually has more choice, not two but three to chose from and in a range of sizes! Small, the operated boob, medium the underarm swelling and large the untouched boob. Some men just don't know when they're well off.

Think it's time for my tablets.

Take care ladies

Reeb

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

What a great thread.
I have found BC has made me revaluate my life which I really needed to do, I've discovered so many caring friends.
My two sons and daughter-in-law have been the best, the rest of my family so supportive. I've never had to go chemo sessions on my own as family and friends have insisted I don't go alone.

I was so stressed out at work with to much work being loaded on, that has now taken a back burner and with chilling rather than stressing I have become more productive. I have been able to continue working from home because I've sailed through chemo with few problems. Lucky me.

Only downside is that my daughter(30) has not been able to cope with this too well, so badly that she hasn't spoken to me for a couple of months. That does distress me. She will recover from this I'm sure when it's all over and done with.

Even my hair has begun to grow back before my TAX have finished, for some reason though it's growing back silver, nice colour but not what I'm used to.

xx

Glossy
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

House tidy. Cupboards cleared out that I never had time to do. Realising who my friends are. Thanks to my office for the tree they gave me for my garden. I have watched it grow over the last months whilst having treatment and (silly as it sounds) felt nutured by it. Going back to work tomorrow. Feeling a little apprehensive but excited to be doing something 'normal' again! Must admit I never thought I would be 'excited' by work......lol

finty
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Glossy - you made me laugh about your hair:) I suspect quite a few of us had no idea what our natural colour was until chemo intervened. Silver hair can look lovely - often complements skin tone very nicely - good for you. x

Nottsgal
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

my eldest step daughter (age 30) has actually been nice to me!

Actually, she wasn't really nasty before, just distant - e.g. would talk to her dad rather than both of us even though we were both in the room. Yesterday, she gave me a kiss before goong home.

Other upsides:
my house looked like a florist shop with all the lovely flowers people sent when I was diagnosed and when I had my mx.

I found out who my real friends are.

I have decided that I can use it as an excuse it to be grumpy - e.g. telling my nieces they spend too long on their computers (up to 9 hours per day at the weekends) and should find something more interesting to do. My sister probably won't tell me off for interfering at the moment ;0)

Looking forward to doing the domestic goddess bit, hasn't happened yet!

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Great to read that I'm not the only one in danger of becoming a domestic goddess. All those dormant skills I never knew I had are coming out - just off to bake a cake with some of my homemade jam!

Reeb x

poppy333
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

brilliant thread.

makes a change from the negatives x

Glossy
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi

Just joined this website. Have finished chemo and radiotherapy after a lumpectomy. i count myself lucky after meeting some other woman who were in more dire straits.
My wonderful husband has been with me every step of the way. Mopped up after me when sick and comforted my in my worst moments. Its beena miserable few months but I got through it with the help and support of friends. The upside is that my hair is growing back quite silver (funny I thought it would come back the colour I had dyed it for so many years). I am going to go with it and make a statement with the colour....Oh and I am going back to work next week....The support of hospital staff and this website has been tremendous.

ragamuffin
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi All-
Just wanted to thank everybody for this thread. It's wonderful to read all the positives. Have just been diagnosed and have not yet had any treatment. My head has been full of BC information mostly unpleasant- now I almost feel "excited" about what I have to look forward to afterwards. Already I feel very supported by friends but most of them are overseas (arrived in the UK in Feb this year). This forum is inspirational I find it amazing that in the past it has been rubbished. Keep it going!!
Diana

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

This is a great thread. I gave up full time teaching at the end of September to care for and have more time with my very elderly mum. I was dx with breast cancer on 13th Sept and had a max and lymphnode clearance at the end of September.
This has brought mum and I closer together. My husband and daughters are rocks and I do no know what I would have done without them. I am more positive, long lost relatives have stayed in touch. I only do things that matter. I will see onc on 25th, to see if it has gone to my bones.
I have done things I couldn't when working. The house is generally tidier,but that does not matter. Buying new makeup and looking at wigs for the future.
Do I care what other people think, not now only the closest people who matter to me. Keep up this thread!

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Since mx in Sept I have been feeling low, tears at stupid o'clock and today reading this thread tears again, but this time they have been happy tears. For me bc has shown me who my real friends are and those that were the hangers on have now been binned. My fantastic OH for being my rock but also treating me normally as well. My 5 yo and 3 yo for making me laugh and having enough time in the day to be Mummy without running round i like a headless chicken.

Louise

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Not having to shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows or chin, or dry my hair in the morning.
Finding out that my sticky out ear that I've been paranoid about all my life doesn't stick out as much as I thought!
Thinking long and hard about my life and deciding if I want to change anything- and finding that I don't.
Realizing what a fantastic husband and children I've got.

alexc23
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Sorry Lulu but they are the first to come back!!

That said I know now more then ever who are the people who matter in my life and no longer care about the opinions of those who are negative. I try and spend my time with people, I like and love and zone out those I don't. I will always be polite to people but no longer have the need to please that I used to have. Liberation could well be!!

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

On the frivolous side: not having to pluck my chin for those stray and unsightly dark hairs. Yay!
Lulu XX

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

Hi everyone

Just to let you know that I have moved this thread to the "sharing good news" section, as it seems to fit better under this section. I hope it doesn't make it difficult to find.

with best wishes
Leah

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

seroma means ... having the bounciest 'breasts' ever!

I remember it well.

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

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Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

No breasts means---- being able to get closer for a cuddle.
No breasts means----not getting them trapped when I turn over in bed.
No breasts, and no prosthesis means----- no uncomfortable bras.
No breasts means----- no more bouncing during aquafit classes.
I worry less, especially about the future.
I'm now more confident.
I find it easier to say no.

Guest user
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Re: The upside of cancer....

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cherub
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

I'm going blackberrying as well, last year I made 8 lbs of lovely jam. I picked them at some bushes overlooking the seafront here, so a nice view as well as free fruit! OH has frozen loads of garden veg for the winter and has some tomatoes, so I'm going to try chutney this week.

libby_2010
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Mm Ladies you have all made me think again again again ( no not Father Ted) I really was not considering retiring for a lot or reasons----love my job, split from Ex late in life ( sorry am I going a bit off thread)so financially left in dire staits but got that just sorted when BC hit and oh how that made me start to review how my life might be.To-day I got a letter and application form asking if I wanted to take Mutually agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) this is an NHS thingie ho crikey more decisions.
Meanwhile on a really lovely note my daughter came over last evening as her bloke has gone off on a stag night lol he rang here at 4am .).).)
So we all went off on a lovely walk from my book of walks in this area.Managed a 5 mile walk so really pleased with myself.It was so lovely to walk through fields and hedgerows a few miles from the M4. Well tomorrow I will be re-tracing some of that walk to collect sloes and blackberries to make sloe gin for Christmas and freeze b'berries and how lovely is all of that in this lovely English autumn/ Will be saving this thread for good stuff. Love to all Jackie

cherub
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

You are quite right norbert, you need to have someone with a voice that sounds right for you and I know J K-Z may not be right for everyone. However, I do like his teachings as they make a lot of sense for me.

A few years ago my brother gave me a meditation tape and I couldn't use it as the guy sounded like Vincent Price with a Scots accent, it was really creepy. I also tried self hypnosis stuff by a guy called Coby Zwikler. His accent was Macunian and a bit camp, he had a certain way of pronouncing things and I just found him downright irritating. I have another old tape from 25 years ago where the guy sounds like Alfred Hitchcock - that one sends me to sleep if I ever do it.

One of the best I have ever had was a self hypnosis tape by a guy called Robert Farago. About 20 years ago he used to treat people for phobias on This Morning and he had a clinic in Hampstead. I got this tape free with a copy of New Woman, but it got lost when my house was flooded in 2001. It was 10 mins long and he took you down a large staircase. The weird thing was you could feel yourself sinking further and further down - when he brought you back to the top your eyes suddenly opened! I really wish I could get another copy of this - every time I did it I was focused and refreshed afterwards. At that point I worked for a Japanese bank in the City and it was a good stress reliever.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

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Re: The upside of cancer....

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cherub
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Anne, you are proof that you don't need to have a fantastic income to lead an interesting and fulfilling life. There are loads of free things you can find to do if you just look for them. I get really fed up with people round me saying they don't know how I could have come back up here from London as there's nothing to do! They all complain about things like not having a cinema in the town, yet the local theatre shows films often 3 or 4 nights a week and it's a whole lot cheaper than the Odeon multiplex 10 miles away as it's only £4.50 or £4 for a concession (when I was ill it was only £3.50). Ice creams and coffees are a pound, so a cheap night out.

My own thing at the moment is updating my business skills, so I have been going on every free Business Gateway thing in my area. Have learned some fantastic stuff, you meet new people, and if it's an all day thing you get lunch thrown in as well! As a bonus, these courses have brought my confidence on. Like many other ladies here it took some time to regain it. Anything that helps is worth it, whether it be academic or just vocational like learning to paint or draw. My SiL was diagnosed with bowel cancer in Feb and painting in watercolour and taking up knitting again to pass a few hours have been her salvation.

Alexamay, I also took up mindfulness and meditation about 3 years ago. I have just about every book and CD by Jon Kabat Zinn who teaches this at University of Massachusetts. His stuff is wonderful and has taught me a lot about why we display certain behaviours under stress. I do the Body Scan meditation of his - great for clearing your head if you get a mental block. I've found a flyer for a tai chi class in a church hall round the corner, so I'm going to investigate as I could stick a tracky bottom on and walk there in 5 mins.

AnneS
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

It is good to see such a positive thread.I've been living with breast cancer now for nearly 8 years and was diagnosed with secondaries in Feb 08 aged 38 and my husband sadly left in the May unable to cope under the strain so it was hard to see the positive side at that time. However,in a strange way,knowing my time is limited helped me to decide that it was sink or swim and that I wasn't going to be remembered in my final years as a tragic figure so over the past 2 years I've really been living life to the full and haven't been so happy and fulfilled in all my life as I really live for every day despite having had to give up most of my work and now being on a very low income.
I've been to Paris,Greece,Spain,Italy over the past 2 years,modelled in the BCC Cymru Fashion show in Feb,celebrated my 40th birthday in style with 8 consecutive days of celebrations,joined 2 social groups,done pottery,just started jewellery making classes,joined a community choir and go to opera,concerts and theatre and go out with friends as much as I can. I'm doing far more than I did before I had secondaries and was in a relationship. I feel I'm more myself than I've ever been and feel so grateful to have been given this opportunity but of course I'd rather learned it without having cancer but it's helped me focus on what's truly important in my life. It's also helped me realise that my job,partner,and illness do not define me! I don't take things for granted and of course I get scared but usually I just book something else to look forward to and have found that when there's a will there really is a way as I never dreamed I'd be able to do all these things. I'm also doing it to help my family and friends cope and hope to inspire others to really make the most of every day.

alexamay09
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Thankyou for a brilliant thread. I too remember the last time when people were being shot down in flames for looking for anything positive in this experience.
Firstly let me say that this is a horrible disease, and as someone who had only had primary cancer I know that I don't know how it feels for those who have secondaries. However, my own experience has been completely life changing for me.
After diagnosis I took up tai chi and practice mindfulness and meditation. I changed the way I eat and feel better than I've felt in my adult life. I rarely get stressed any more and realise the real priorities in life. Ironically I used to worry about death and dying all the time before cancer, but now I don't - I focus on being alive every day. There is always something beautiful to look at or to listen to in the world. I am a much happier person and much more positive and optimistic than I was.
And like many women I have found that those around me, including the women on this forum, have been unfailingly kind, generous and supportive.
alex
xx

cherub
Member

Re: The upside of cancer....

Like bennyboo I wear things I never used to. TBH, in my 20s I was really fashionable (well it was the 80s!), but by my mid 30s I had finished my degree and drifted into jobs where everybody wore jeans and jumpers. I kind of lost my way a bit and became a bit drab looking. I swore I'd never wear really drab colours like brown and olive green again - if I do catch myself doing that I make sure I wear an eyecatching bit of jewellery. I also experiment more with makeup and wear different colours of eyeshadow more.

I spent a lot of time being unkind to myself in the years leading up to this as things were not as I intended them to be. There were a lot of issues to do with my sister as well (when I was in my teens my mum used to tell me I would never be as good as her as she was the favourite). I now just see my sis as being a bit of a saddo because she runs from everything - she moved abroad when our dad went into care so she didn't have to deal with it. She was here when I was diagnosed and got on a plane at 6 am the next morning, never saw her again for nearly a year. My OH has never forgiven her for that.Thankfully, I learned to dump all that baggage a few years ago.