Why I Am Thankful

The one thing that is obvious on this journey with breast cancer is the importance of support – and I’ve been lucky to have some truly wonderful and lovely support from family and friends but equally it’s the support you get from those in the medical profession.

For me, it’s been the amazing people who work in the NHS and who have treated me these past few months and will continue to do so, as I undertake chemo treatment to ensure any remits of Lucifer are well and truly kicked into submission.

I would like to thank the Royal Free Hospital Breast Surgery team in north west London for all their care, but in particular Charlie my breast nurse, who became more familiar with my right tit status, than any other human ever.

Charlie, cleaned and dressed my wound week after week and was responsible for keeping both Kevin and Perry in check. He even cared enough to call me out of hours to ensure Kevin wasn’t being troublesome. We shared many jokes, music and stories, whilst he gently tended. Charlie and all the others like him is what makes the NHS amazing.

These lovely men and women we laugh and cry with are so committed to ensuring people like myself are able to return to full health, getting on with our lives, dreams, ambitions and goals.

Whilst family and friends are great and provide much needed love and support, it’s our NHS professionals who come into their own with their hard work, dedication and commitment to making sure we are able to be loved and cared for by our family and friends.

Having breast cancer is shit, like all forms of cancers and illnesses that can potentially limit opportunities or curtail life, but if lucky enough, with the right treatment and support, you have a chance not just to survive but to thrive. That’s where people like Charlie and others who have and will be treating me come into their own – they are giving me that opportunity.

To me, that is the challenge I’m looking forward to and whilst breast cancer has been a focus of mine these past few months and will be for another year or so with ongoing chemo and treatment, I know there is much I have learnt and gained as a person and whilst it’s easy to say things happens for a reason, in my case the reason is there – to grow further as a person, to ensure I continue my career as a photographer and to be in a position where my skills and ability can help others on their journey.

Life has a way of making you change course from time to time and that’s why it’s important to grasp the opportunities as they present. Breast cancer has created its own opportunities and whilst not what I would have wished for, it certainly has given me additional motivation to my commitment to ensure that everything I do is about achieving, growing, learning and having fun.

Thank you Charlie, the rest of the NHS team, family and friends who are helping me with this and making sure the best is yet to come.