The day cancer changed my life forever

It was early September which is a time of the year I love.  Things were changing at work.   I felt extremely lucky. Although the team I was in was folding, the prospects for my career were looking great.  I loved working North Yorkshire with a passion, visiting groups of nurses demonstrating a device for COPD and selling the drug.  I had many successes and over the years have built some lifelong relationships with GPs, nurses and practice managers.  North Yorkshire is a beautiful part of the UK and to be honest it is difficult to believe I actually get paid to do something I love.  

My manager at the time was a great guy, ex forces from sandhurst.  He sat me down and told me he had put me forward for a promotion.  There were 2 others going for it but he said it had my name on it and he had told the people interviewing that I was perfect for the job.  I had the most experience and achievements.  Really, It was just a formality.  

I did all the prep and had my brag file bursting at the seams but didnt get the job - i couldnt understand why but looking back I couldnt drum up any enthusiasum, I just wanted to get out, get home and go to bed.

The following 3 days i spent on the sofa.  Not sick - just immensly tired.  I have never felt anything like it.  Like someone had put a straw in my ear and sucked the life out of me.  Not being a frequent visitor at the doctors, reluctanly i made an appointment.  He sent me for some blood tests but the form stayed pinned to my notice board and i never went.  just like i never went to my appointment for a mammogram  (They sent me another appointment which i nearly missed as i just couldnt be bothered.  Iv been having mammogrames for years and i just didnt have time at the moment) Thank god i decided to go but completely forgot i had been.

please dont be of the opinion that i am a negative person.  i am so positive and full of fun and banter.  These are words never spoken and it feels cleansing being able to express them.

I have been having annual mammograms for ten years following the death of my sister bernardette age 34.  She died of breast cancer followed by my dad with pancreatic cancer.  They say it is linked to breast cancer.  All of his sisters passed with breast cancer so the gene must come from his side.  My mum then passed 5 years later with oesophagus cancer. 

The breast clinic sent me for genetic testing to see if i have the brca1 and brca2 gene.  I was advised to have a mastectomy to prevent me getting breat cancer.  Of course i took it no further - it was not even a consideration.  There was no way it would ever happen to me.  

little did I know at the time but my psychology degree taught me coping mechanisms which I automatically put in place.  Thinking about it at length over the years I have developed this positive attitude and I am feeling it is due to me adopting the attitude of "happiness is in the moment".  looking back I used this technique.  Deal with how you are feeling today and whatever happens tomorrow you will be able to deal with it.  You can reflect on past events and learn from them and of course you need to plan for the future but be mindful of what is happening right now and allow yourself to experience it.  Mindfulness is about knowing where you are (being in the moment)  but also having an awareness of the past but not getting stuck in it and anticipating the future. My forgiving nature reflects this. Also my theory get over it and move on seems to fit in to this.

I am aware the content may seem a bit gloomy to read but I will add in some interesting  bits like when I babysat for Brooklyn Beckham - when I held the toilet door closed for Niomi Campbell while she had a piss in the men's loo and others

The next page tells when we were all diagnosed ... Please give feed back if this page is too long !!!