• Mental Health

    Why?

    Why? Why? Why? How many times have you asked yourself this question? It’s not an exclusive question to someone who has or has had cancer. If the voice in your head was a real person, you would look at them like they were completely fucking mad! I read that in The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer, a great read by the way. My ‘whys’ used to be so much simpler, although at the time they seemed so significant. Many whys will go away or can be solved by actions, my ‘cancer why’ is forever present.   So, when I was diagnosed, I asked myself why? Why me? What did I…

  • Cancer,  Fitness

    Cancer and exercise

    So, you had cancer and want to start exercising, this post is a no frills look at the benefits of exercise post cancer. Whether you were fit before or not, makes no difference, cancer came and went, and we have evolved, we are not the same physically or mentally. I say hit that reset button and find the routine that works for you. I got together with Tommy, a colon cancer survivor (read his story here) to give you a glimpse of his workouts and my own, and talk about how exercise helps us cope with those lovely post-cancer issues such as anxiety, depression and muscle loss (there’s a long…

  • Health,  Synovial Sarcoma

    Chanez’s synovial sarcoma story

    Life as I know it –   The beginning of 2012 I thought: ‘Why is my leg so painful? Maybe I pulled a muscle while playing hockey, I should probably go to the physio.’   The beginning of 2020 (pre COVID), I thought: ‘I don’t want to die! I don’t want to feel pain! I really don’t want to die!’   These two thoughts seem worlds and years apart but are both related to the same thing, the awful thing I did not see coming – cancer.   I was laying in bed one evening in August 2012 when I felt a lump in my left thigh.  It was not painful.…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer

    Dawn’s colon cancer story

    To think about when my story began, I guess it would have to be New Year’s Eve 2000. I went to a New Year’s Eve party in Connecticut (where I’m from) with my mother and step-father. That night my mom wasn’t feeling well. When I look back at the pictures, I can see that she did not look healthy. After the holiday, Mom saw her primary care physician who treated her for bronchitis and pneumonia. Early February came and her condition did not improve so they sent her to the hospital for x-rays and scans. It turned out that she had small cell lung cancer. Mom hated doctors and was…

  • Health,  Mental Health

    Intuition or paranoia?

    Ever since cancer came along, my reading list changed to include books talking about diet, exercise, mental health, breathing etc etc in order to ‘stay in remission’. I am not so naive to believe that these factors will keep me in remission and I am fully aware that cancer can rear its head no matter what I do; that’s the scariest part. One book delved into ‘intuition’ and how our body uses its intuition to know when something is wrong or right for us.  I knew something was wrong with me pre diagnosis because I also had physical pain, signals telling me that something is wrong. The hard part was…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer,  Rectal cancer

    Understanding ‘mets’

    When we talk about cancer, we use stages to determine where the cancer cells have traveled. When I was first told that I had cancer, the doctor said  I had a tumour in my bowel and the cancer had traveled to my liver and maybe my lung (can’t remember which one now and it hadn’t, thank goodness) so bascially my cancer had mestastasized, quite simply put, it had spread from the primary source (my bowel/colon) through lymphatic nodes and to other organs. So, when people with cancer talk about mets (also known as lesions) or in my case liver mets, they are saying a form of tumour in another organ.…

  • Breast cancer,  Health

    Drika Louw – Breast Cancer Survivor

    I named my cancer journey the roller coaster as I felt like I was on a roller coaster from the moment it all started. With a roller coaster you have the 4 parts: ​ Being strapped in and waiting (15/05/2017) The climb (26/05/2017) – The longest part of the roller coaster The free fall (26/06/2018) The stopping moment   Being strapped in and waiting: The first part of my roller coaster started in the first week of May 2017. Just before my Dad’s 50th birthday. I noticed some small changes and felt a lump in my breast while doing a self-examination. I knew I had a strong family history with…

  • Breast cancer,  Health

    Steve Kelly – Breast Cancer Survivor “Everyday is a gift. Live life to the fullest.”

    Detection In December 2018 my partner Sandy noticed something unusual in my right breast. There was a lump behind the nipple. The lump was not visible from the outside; however, if you looked carefully, you could see that the nipple was slightly inverted. This was painless, and I did not feel ill. ​ Diagnosis I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Grade 3 Breast Cancer. The lump was a ductal carcinoma, approximately 17mm in diameter, or roughly the size of a marble. This is a common type of breast cancer; the standard international treatment protocols apply. ​ Surgery I had surgery the following week, as the primary treatment. The procedure is known as…

  • Colon cancer,  Health,  Mental Health

    Martha’s story – La historia de Martha

    My name is Martha, I am 48 years old and I live in Florida. I was diagnosed with colon cancer on December 20, 2017 at age 45; this is my story.   I am the mother of two beautiful young children and the wife of a wonderful man. The fourth of five sisters created by good parents, especially my mother. My life changed in December 2017 when what I thought was a simple problem of exhaustion turned into a nightmare. It was during a very important time, my daughter was turning 15 which is a tradition for young Latino women, the celebration of her 15 years. We were preparing a…

  • Health,  Mental Health

    Vanessa’s story

    Well my story started with a trip, a journey back to Australia where we had not long moved from. It was our first holiday back home and I was at the airport with my two boys, going back to New Zealand where we are still living now. While I was in Australia my GP called me to get some tests done as she was a bit concerned after she found I had tested positive for HPV. As I thought she was exaggerating a bit, I asked if I really needed to go, and she assured me that yes, I needed to do a colposcopy and briefly explained what it was.…