c is for... cancer

Sometimes it it good that we don't know what kind of news is waiting around the corner. Until 2014, I was a healthy person, with only the usual colds and allergies in my health file.

During 2014, I felt that something was slightly wrong, but couldn't place it. Then, in October, I found a lump in my breast. A biopsy confirmed my immediate worry: breast cancer. What followed were weeks of hope and fear, until an operation and a genetic test brought the more detailed diagnosis. With a little more (relative) luck, I would have been in the group of those who are early-stage and on-the-safer-side, so that treatments are light(er). But the genetic test showed that the risk factors were too high in my case. At least the whole diagnosis and medication has come a long way in the last 20 years, And so, for a year, my life was a very different one:

Altogether I went through almost 12 months of treatment: first the operation, then chemotherapy, then radiation, then a cure stay for recovery.

Both the sheer length of time and the system of treatments sounded frightening, but it's in fact pretty much the standard treatment for this type of cancer when chemotherapy is included. And of course, the real frightening stuff isn't the treaments, but the cruel nature of this illness, which so far has neither an easy nor a safe or fully effective cure.

I wasn't really prepared for the dimension of all this, but at least I had my writing - which helped me to cope with the situation and all the smaller and larger obstacles, emotions, thoughts, fears, hopes, encounters and realities it encompasses.

From start, I blogged about this time, basically as a help to find my way through it, just as reading the notes of others helped.

You can find the collected notes (in the usual inversed blog order) here: C is for cancer, and for courage, too.

There are also several posts with practical advice:

And here's the sorted list of blog posts, starting at the beginning:

Diagnosis + Operation

Chemotherapy Part 1
Chemotherapy Part 2

The new normal

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