This week marks three weeks since I had my starring role as I undertook surgery for breast cancer.
As I begin the process of recovery, my mind is focused on the impact that breast cancer has and the various follow ups I’ve had and will have over the coming weeks.
It’s about adjustments, not just mental or physical, but adjustments in how I manage my day to day life, now punctuated with multiple weekly hospital visits and endless rounds of testing with hours lost in masked waiting rooms, wondering how to manage my daily life as a mother, wife and photographer.
My recovery from surgery has gone well, numbness, swelling, fluid draining, arm exercises, have become part of my new norm. Tiredness and emotions building up, resilience fluctuates, roller coaster days of laughter and tears. Some days are fine, some are tough and some are just plain shit!
I have been truly touched by acts of kindness, friends reaching out, messages received, old friendships rekindled and new ones formed, all helping me to face this challenge.
I maintain my dark sense of humour whilst looking on the bright side. I know deep down that this next stage of my life is a transitional one. Life is a journey and this is mine as I look to get back to doing what I love – taking photographs, capturing important moments and letting the camera tell a story to be shared.
The only cameras I currently see are medical ones as they check how the surgery went and how my treatment will progress. Over the coming weeks I will be undergoing chemotherapy, they talk about side effects, some well-known, some never considered. They talk about the impact and the recovery from it. As lockdown lifts and hairdressers reopen, I never thought this appointment would be my last for quite a while, but I will rock a bald look, I love hats and will have an excuse to shop for more. I will embrace and celebrate it and hopefully have enough energy to have fun with it. After all, if it helps me live then it will help me thrive and most importantly survive.
I’m not letting cancer get in the way of what I’ve been working on and doing these last few years. As I look towards this next challenge, wish me well and with or without hair, I’m still me with plenty to look forward to, dream, achieve and have fun with.