Friday, 28 December 2012

2013-a happy new year!

So 2013 is nearly upon us and time to reflect on 2012.
I don't normally ramble on about serious stuff but here goes....
Here is my 2012 story for anyone who may care to take a few moments to read it. Some of you will know some of it already-some not.
2012 was not my best year, in fact it has been the worst year of my life so far.
After a referral by my doctor last December for a mammogram and then a biopsy in January, at the beginning of February I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer on my right side. 3 small tumours. It was quite a blow to take and totally unexpected. The doctors told me I had to have a mastectomy and reconstruction. First I had to have a lymph node biopsy to assess any possible spread but fortunately there was no spread.
In March I went through a 6.5 hour op, had 4 drains in and 8 days in hospital. I had what is called a Latissimus Dorsi reconstruction where the large muscle from my back was harvested to make up my new breast. 
Near the end of April I started chemotherapy for 6 cycles (18 weeks). My veins didn't take it too well so I had to have a Hickman line inserted (central venous catheter) after my 2nd cycle. Thankfully I didn't need to have radiotherapy.
I used a cold cap for a couple of cycles to try and stop losing my hair but in May my hair started to fall out. My daughter and husband shaved my head. That was fun! 
I finished my chemotherapy at the end of August.
I have had countless hospital appointments at 3 different hospitals, seen a load of doctors, had quite a bit of physiotherapy, had a hell of a lot of blood taken and needles inserted. I've had a lot of discomfort, some grief, sickness and pain.
I am still recovering from both the treatment and my operation.
In April this year I go back to hospital to see the cancer doctor and get another mammogram. I can't pretend I'm not nervous about it. I have less faith in my body now, it has let me down. In May I go back to hospital again to arrange more reconstruction surgery.
It's hard to accept the changes to my body that I will have to live with for the rest of my life but ultimately I am grateful to be here.
My hair is growing back too :0)
I'm not telling this story to try and get a bit of sympathy, not at all. I want to make a point and my past year has been as good a way as any to illustrate it.
Even though I have had a negative 2012, I have a positive too.
The way I see it is this. 
There is always someone else in a far worse situation than yourself. Some one who needs far more help and compassion. Please consider others who may not be as fortunate as yourself whether they be human or animal.
So when I go through to 2013 I am being positive and I have been throughout 2012.
Be thankful for what you have. Good health is the best gift, never take it for granted and although sometimes it can be hard....always look on the bright side of life!
Wishing a very happy, healthy, compassionate and prosperous 2013 to everyone :0))


Rosie maddocks said...

Fhiona, I'm very sorry to hear what a difficult year you've had. It sounds like you have been through a hell of a lot, but you also seem positive for the future which I think is very important. (My mum has also had breast cancer, but always tried to stay positive) I hope 2013 is a much better year for you, and you can keep up with your lovely work. xxx

Dale Simpson Illustrator said...

You are an Amazing lady Fhi - Sending much Health and Happiness for the coming Year! xx

pop-i-cok said...

Aw you made me cry! Fingers crossed for a full recovery soon. And thanks for putting things in perspective, I'm having a crappy time with my agent running off with my money and really getting worried about it but it's nothing at the end of the day. I'm healthy, that's all that really matters isn't it? I'll try to appreciate it more.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2013 xxx

amy said...

You are a really inspiring lady! it's very true, your story puts everything into perspective- thank you for sharing it with us. Onwards and upwards we go into 2013 and I really hope it is a happy new year for you! :)

Caroline B said...

Throughout 2012 I have had the utmost admiration for how you have dealt with this - here's hoping 2013 will be cancer free and full of better times. You're looking great by the way!

Cally Johnson-Isaacs said...

Thank you for sharing your story Fhiona. You're so right, good health should never be taken for granted. Sending you love and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.

Shirley said...

Fhiona, may you continue to thrive and beat cancer. I am SO sorry to hear all that you've gone through. You write with such strength and courage and conviction that I applaud you and wish nothing but the best for you and your family in 2013 and beyond. What a fabulous pic of you! Keep smiling and I wish you an abundance of health and peace in 2013.

Introverted Art said...

Happy new year to you too :)

ginger bred said...

Fhiona, thanks for sharing your story with us... you write it with such strength, determination and positivity - that's what gets you through the tough times to come out shining at the other end. I wish you all the best for 2013, may it be full of health and happiness. Stay strong and keep smiling amazing lady! x

Christine Gore said...

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2013! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

Christine Gore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tamara Henderson said...

Hey Fhiona,You are indeed a very strong woman and admire your strength. Have happy, successful New Year!

Helen Pickup said...

My cousin went into hospital the day after Boxing day and has had the same procedure as you, she's very positive just like you, keep strong x

Amanda said...

Well said Mrs! I hope that 2013 is a better year for you, I'm sure it will be. Sending you a healing hug x

Magpie Magic said...

I have admired throughout the last year how well you dealt with it and how open you were about it. I believe it is the only way to get through this and I am so glad that things finally are looking up. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last you've seen of it and that 2013 and all the years after will be great for you personally and professionally. xo