Why I’m not dying of cancer – and why you should too
I’ve had a long history of cancer and the fact that I’m a woman, I’ve been in treatment for years, I know what it’s like.
And yet I’m still finding it hard to understand why it has taken me so long to get better.
I’m hoping that when I see you in my life, I can ask you a simple question.
How did you cope with the cancer that was taking hold of you?
I want you to understand that I never felt I had to die.
My illness was inevitable and I just didn’t know it at the time.
It’s not like I was told that I couldn’t do anything and it was my fault that I didn’t get treatment sooner.
When I was diagnosed with melanoma, it wasn’t until five years after I got the diagnosis that I started to understand what had been happening to me.
I was living in London with my parents at the height of my cancer symptoms and it wasn.t until the first time I had a scan that I realised how bad it was.
When it came time to go to see a specialist I was devastated.
The cancer hadn’t really taken hold yet.
I had no idea what was going on with me, and that wasn’t helped by the fact I was overweight and in the process of losing weight.
The doctors said I was probably suffering from a chronic illness, but I didn.t know what that meant.
And the worst part of it was that it was the cancer and my body that were the problem.
It wasn?t until five months later that I felt ready to start treatment and was given the go-ahead to try to have a mastectomy.
I’d always been in denial about my cancer but I had just discovered that it wasn?d to my benefit that I had it, that I wasn?ve to have surgery, and then that the procedure was only a few weeks away.
I didn?t want to live with it, I just wanted to be able to do something that would make me happy.
And after months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, radiation and other treatments, I got it.
I started on the first day of my treatment, with the support of my family and doctors, with an MRI and a CT scan.
I went into surgery and the scans came back positive.
And then two months after that I went back for my second scan, and this time the cancer was down.
I?ve never looked back since.
And it?s still going strong.
t surprise me that the first scan showed no tumours or anything at all.
The next scan revealed that I was only suffering from some benign breast cancers, which were on my ovaries, on my prostate and in my neck.
I got cancer again but I?d had it for a year before it got bigger.
It has spread to my lungs, my heart, my brain and even to my liver.
I don?t have cancer any more.
And so, despite the fact my disease is gone, I still have a life that I love, that is full of amazing memories, friendships and beautiful people.
It?s the best life I could have had, and I have been blessed to have lived it.
And I can?t thank you enough for the support you gave me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the rest of the people around me.
And now that I?re finally feeling comfortable enough to start my new life, now that the cancer has gone, it?ll be great to meet new people and start doing something that makes me happy again.
To learn more about cancer and how to treat it, visit the National Cancer Institute.