Sun, sea & Sangria are the summertime S’s I love, but as some of you may know, I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and the other three S’s came into effect – it was a shock, it was shitty and it does shake you up.
This week, on Tuesday, I will be undergoing surgery and playing my part as one of the cast in the theatre. It’s often said that an early diagnosis along with fast treatment leads to the best result and being able to live and thrive is what I’m aiming for.
I’m very grateful to our NHS and the Royal Free Hospital for the rapid response they have given to me in order to treat my uninvited guest, Lucifer. That’s right, I’ve named it, so I can face it, defeat it and make sure he doesn’t stop me from delivering on what I want to do, see or where I want to go.
So often you hear of how cancer impacts lives and without a doubt it does and can. But I’m an optimistic person, who lives not just for today but also for tomorrow and that is why this cancer will not define me.
Being isolated once again, as a pre-surgery precaution, has given me time to reflect and reminded myself of the importance of dreams and ambitions. The last couple of years have been a major turning point for me, it’s been a time in my life where my love for photography has been allowed to grow and develop. From going back to college through to being a photography prize finalist, life has changed for me in unexpected ways.
Photography has enabled me not just to learn but to also give back, a photographer captures not just the moment, but a message. It could be a message of hope or awareness but there’s always a message in what I do, striving to help those without a voice to be heard.
I have recently been talking about this next stage of my life as being the new and indeed it is new for me. But like everything else I have learnt in my life, the past doesn’t have to define you and nor does it stop you from achieving. Lucifer will be no different, the future is fun, strong and long!
So as I enter theatre on Tuesday with a full cast and crew all around me, wish me well, break a leg.