Imagine running as fast as you can, carrying several unwieldy objects. You’re exhausted, but you have to keep going and not drop anything. Suddenly, a brick wall appears. You slam straight into it, dropping everything and crashing to the ground.
The unwieldy running is a metaphor for life in my thirties: rushing from dropping off the kids to a full-time job, desperate to be a good friend, daughter, wife, mother and colleague. In 2021, aged 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was the brick wall.
My diagnosis of stage-three, grade-three, triple-negative breast cancer required five months of chemotherapy to shrink the tumours before I could then have surgery to remove my breast and lymph nodes from under my right arm (where they also found cancer). It was followed by 15 rounds of radiotherapy and, to cap it off, a further six months of adjuvant chemo.
I felt as