Blogger Melanie O'Neill has two children and was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer seven years ago. 

Here she shares the latest stage in her journey. 

BY the time you read this I will have had an MRI scan on my brain.

After having dizzy spells since mid-August the oncologist said it’s probably nothing but best to rule out that there isn’t a tumour on your brain.

Having not suffered from any long term headaches I’m trying to convince myself that it’s nothing serious and putting the dizziness down to age and an early menopause brought on by the chemotherapy.

So it is more than likely that which ia affecting my hormones causing this.

I know a few people whose cancer has spread to their brain.

Some are still with us and struggling and some have sadly passed away so until I know for sure what is going on, I’m trying so hard not to have this additional worry.

But there is that little devil continuously sat on my shoulder and its name is fear.

I go to bed with it and wake up to it every single day since I was asked to attend that MRI scan.

Keeping myself so very busy my mind is having trouble remembering my dance moves I am taught by my dance teacher Becci as I give myself 101 things to do to occupy me and remain of sound mind.

Unlike now…where I have time on my hands, the death card has raised its ugly head and is laid out before me, reminding me of how my life could be cut short.

I’ve spent 40+ years people pleasing and still I wonder how I will be remembered when I do eventually die. But then I think who cares?

Not wanting to be morbid thinking about death, I find it difficult to think about anything else having had news of 5 deaths in the last 2 months making cancer a lonely path to follow.

And knowing friends in far worse situations leaves me feel guilty of having the fears that are minuscule in comparison Remaining upbeat I remember that apart from the dizzy spells, low blood count and increasingly dry eyes, I’m doing absolutely fine and remember those that are far worse off than myself.

It’s not the scan that worries me.

I coped with the plastic, white cage the nurses put over my head and the intense drilling noise whilst the scan was in progress listening to the sounds of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Rick Astley keeping me company and taking me back to my high school disco days if only for a short time.

I was grateful not to suffer from claustrophobia as I’m used to having a heart scan and a CT scan every 6 weeks as per the clinical trial.

It’s the results that will follow.

It’s the stomach in knots and the sweaty palms along with the sleepless nights that go hand in hand with the anticipation that occurs every 6 weeks.

So when well-wishers ask how I am doing? I smile politely and tell them I’m fine and allow them to know I have everything crossed for a good blood test result so that I can have my treatment that is keeping me alive.

Because at the end of the day I am alive and doing really well, all things considered, and all this worry is of my own doing with my mind working overtime.

The mind (well my mind anyway) has a hell of a lot to answer for but then I remember what my friend and meditation teacher Lynsey Tidbury tells me. “It’s just a thought! That’s all it is. How would you feel without it? Then let it go.”

Easier said than done but then that’s why I’m so busy.

To not allow my mind time to think of the worst case scenario.

After recently seeing a friend had booked her family holiday for next year after having an amazing time this year, I was secretly gutted that I couldn’t do the same.

Whilst I am genuinely thrilled for her and anyone else able to think that far ahead, I felt sorry for myself knowing I can’t, so I have to concentrate on more current objectives and enjoy living in the present.

Filling my life with things that I love to do (when I’m not cramming in another household task) gives me some respite from the cancer card.

And if only for an hour or even just 1/2 an hour, I can forget that I even have cancer, it’s worth every single penny.

Having written this a few days early, yesterday I went to The Christie to see if my blood count was high enough to have the treatment.

I went alone only realising on arrival that a may get the results of the brain scan.

I could have sworn that anyone close could hear my heart pounding loudly and see my forehead glistening as I waited for the oncologist to arrive.

But it was all not just good but fantastic news. There is no cancer in my brain my white blood, although still low, was the highest it’s been in a long time after my 6 week interval and the dry abrasions on the surface of my eyes that have slowly been getting worse the longer I am on this clinical trial, have miraculously greatly improved.

Grateful is an understated word at this moment in time but I am so very grateful to my homeopath Mandy Hall who has given me remedies recently to help my struggling blood count and prevent my eyes from getting worse.

I didn’t think for a moment that they would get better though!!!!!

And I’m grateful for the many tasks I give to myself for helping to keep my mind busy and lessen the time to worry because there was nothing to worry about in the end after all.

Although tonight I am going to bed with a smile on my face, I’ll be leaving fear to sleep in the shed remembering I have cancer.

Cancer doesn’t have me!

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Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here