After months of refusing to let cancer consume my life and taking my focus off the damn thing I finally started to live again like cancer did exist in me. 

I even stopped blogging about it, turning my focus to happiness and life’s lessons rather than what part cancer was now playing in my life because I decided that it wasn’t playing with me at all. 

I realised I was happy, fit and healthy and so why focus on something that was having little effect on my life apart from scoffing tablets each morning and night, I chose to continue my life like cancer never existed, even resorting back to my old, healthy diet with occasional treats and eating and drinking what made me happy rather than what I thought would help the cancer.

But the reality is that cancer is a part of my life, a very big part. 

Not because I choose it to be but because of the many stomach churning appointments I must attend, the radio adverts I hear, the TV programs I watch (Stand up to Cancer being one) and conversations people want to have with me, not forgetting the side effects that go hand in hand with my current chemotherapy regime. 

There is no switching it off to it but I’m learning that it’s how I react to it that’s important.

After a recent hospital visit for a second opinion on further surgery, something I had pinned my hopes on to finally see the back of this disease, I was floored, only to be told “there’s nothing we can do at the moment.

It’s too far spread on the skin and we cannot get clear margins. Inflammatory Breast cancer is very difficult to get under control.” Oh buggar off you flaming moron.  Stick the knife in a bit further why don’t you or not as the case may be. 

He didn’t want his surgical knife anywhere near me.  And so I sat there allowing them to dictate my future as not being so rosy and feeling like they were choosing to keep me on chemotherapy because although it wasn’t shrinking it, it wasn’t spreading either thus prolonging my life rather than being able to cure me (or remission as the case normally is in these circumstances).

So as I watched 2 surgeons and an oncologist leave the room I wept and wept and wept some more.  In fact I cried for 3 days solid. 

And when I wasn’t crying I was fighting so hard not to cry so had I been alone I would have filled ten buckets.  Because of that day I then went into overdrive firstly searching the book shelves for any information that may offer another suggestion of a cure and just by luck I came across an amazing book offering an A-Z of healing, alternative and medical treatments. 

It was written by a lady who too had IBC.  It was meant for me so I purchased it right away and that night with my heart filled with hope I sat down to read about the author.  She died just before the book was published so my heart only moments before filled with hope was now broken in two.

Days later I scoured the internet after the book alerted me to a medical treatment that enhances the effects of chemotherapy called Hyperthermia. 

I found a woman who wrote an article in the Mail newspaper about her fight to get the treatment on the NHS in this country and failed.  She eventually had the treatment but had to go abroad and spend over £6000 for it.  She too died.

Days later I contacted my friend and IBC campaigner in the U.S to see if she knew anything about Hyperthermia.  She put me on to a gentleman whose wife had had Hyperthermia for IBC earlier last year.  I sent him an email and he replied telling me his wife had died.

Blow after blow after blow.  How do you pick yourself up from that?  My family and friends around me are convinced I’m not going to die but they were also convinced I didn’t have breast cancer. 

So I am learning it’s not what people say, people being the surgeons, oncologists and anyone who crosses my path with a dyer diagnosis, but the way I react to it.  With a heavy heart I want to believe with all my power that I am going to be the one that recovers from this, that not everyone dies from it (FACT!) and that hopefully I’ll be one of them and if that isn’t the case, I just want the people I love most to know that I did everything in my power to get better and that maybe god had a different plan. 

And although what little hope I feel I have left at the moment, I still have hope because I’m still here and worrying about the future only takes away the pleasures of today.

I write this blog not to depress you because I love more than anything to write about the positive things in life but to allow you to see the effects of a cancer diagnosis.  The good with the bad and that writing the truth helps me along with others to come to terms with what's going on and is an  effective coping mechanism.

So a note to self…wipe away those tears, focus on the plan to recover, pick myself up and bloody well get on with life because right now I have an amazing one and I won’t let anyone tell me any different or take that hope away from me. 

Now how’s that for a reaction? Easier said than done but it's a start.