Yesterday was a very overwhelming day, celebrating my 5 year cancerversary. 5 YEARS. If you are in the breast cancer world, you know how much significance is placed in the magical 5 year milestone. But, as is typical with me and this disease, it doesn’t quite mean the same for me.
Five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer typically means you stop taking tamoxifen (unless you don’t have a hormone sensitive cancer, in which case you don’t take it at all), which means you might get your periods back (rejoice!) and perhaps make babies if you fancy. After 5 years you get travel insurance premiums that cost the same as any other earthling again. 5 years essentially means you get a slice of your freedom back.
A statistic we use all the time with CoppaFeel! is this:
If breast cancer is diagnosed at stage 1 you stand a 9/10 chance of surviving beyond 5 years. If it is diagnosed at stage 4, that falls to 1/10.
Today I became that 1 person out of 10, mother fudgerrrrrrrrrrs.
My friend Niall said from the very start that I beat the odds in getting this dumb disease, so I’d surely beat them in surviving it too. Perhaps he’s right. God damn it, I hope he is.
So although I am still taking drugs, can’t get holiday insurance and will never have children (or periods, suckers), I feel like the luckiest girl alive. I can’t even begin to get my head around where the past 5 years have gone, but I do know they have been the best ones yet. And I want more 5 years like that, please.
I drove to Cornwall on Tuesday evening to stay with Maren for a few days. She made my kancerversary incredibly special. She decorated my room with unicorn and massive 5 balloons, made a cake and everything! I told her it felt like my birthday with which she replied “it’s better than a birthday, because you don’t have to share it”. She’s right, as per. But waking up to my 5 year and 1 day anniversary today, I realised just how much better it is than birthdays. Birthdays are over so quickly and the next morning is such an anti climax, but with a cancerversary I get to wake up the next morning thinking, fuck yeah, another day to bloody well live.
The day involved a lot of cake. And delicious food Maren made from her new favourite book, the Green Kitchen, and puppies, balloons, glitter (obvs), pom poms, hats, a massage, BEACH TIME and dancing and friends and Fleetwood Mac…and fearne gave me a shout out on radio one…and, gosh, it was all too overwhelming, and a bit like a 5 year olds birthday.
Anyway, I am doing really well at the moment. Recent scans were good, although my pelvis has been getting more and more painful so I will be having a spot of radiotherapy in due course. I have my anti sickness tablets at the ready…..
Righto. Whatever you do today, make it gooooooood.