When I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2006, I had felt like I was at the peak of my powers. I was young, fit, active and healthy. I ate well, drank in moderation, didn’t smoke, exercised daily, ran my own successful business and felt fantastic. I couldn’t have been more shocked by my body’s betrayal of my respectful lifestyle.
When the enormity of it started to sink in (and for me everything happened lightning fast – diagnosed on a Friday, in surgery on a Monday) as I recovered from the operation and waited for my pathology results, I realised that, as clean living as I was, I needed to be extra careful to stay well going forward.
As a formerly super-healthy person, going through the amount of chemo I was required to have, I was rendered fairly immobile for large chunks of time, which gave me ample opportunity to contemplate the unseen enemies I had never realised I was exposing myself to. As a well person, you take a lot for granted and never question, but when you are fighting for your life (on a daily basis with chemo, and bigger picture, long term recovery and remission) you become acutely aware of everything that touches your senses.