Post-surgery, my new bowels & an evening at home.

After the operation I spent six days on the HDU (High Dependency Unit).

I was in the worst pain I had ever felt and I could barely move.  I had a cannula in my neck, five cannulas in my left arm, a catheter, a drain in the lower right side of my tummy, monitoring wires stuck all over me, an oxygen tube up my nose, a tube going up my nose and down into my stomach, three small cuts in the lower left of my tummy and a vertical cut about 10 inches long down the middle of my tummy.  I remember thinking on several occasions that there was no way I was ever going to feel better.

I decided early on in my recovery that I was going to grit my teeth and do what I was told by everyone – professionals only though of course!   I knew that they knew best and that what they were telling me to do was for my benefit and to keep me safe. However I immediately regretted this when I was told that I’d be getting up and out of bed the day after surgery. I dreaded the thought of it but I knew I had to do it.

I advise anyone going through any kind of surgery to do what you’re told, whether you want to or not it is so important for your recovery.  However I also advise that if you’re not happy with something, tell someone.  I had a bit of a struggle with not being able to get the pain relief I wanted when I felt like I needed it.  Although some of my pain relief was released slowly in to my body over the course of each day, I had to ask for any extras and one day I had to ask my nurse several times before she was willing to give me anything.  I felt upset and restless – it’s the last thing you need when you’re lying in agony.  I decided to tell a senior member of staff and it was sorted straight away.  Don’t be afraid to speak up – you’re the most important person during treatment and recovery and don’t forget it!

The time came for me to sit up and get out of bed for the first time.  The physios came to help me up and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty awful and I felt like I was going to rip in half.

It was so painful moving around and I felt sick and dizzy but I was so proud of myself when I was finally sat in that chair.  I had to sit out for an hour at the minimum, this was to enable my blood to pump around my body effectively and also to encourage deep breathing.  After surgery you are more prone to chest infections and blood clots so I knew it was important for me to be doing it.  As I sat in the chair for the first time the nurses changed my bed and gave me a wash – I always thought I’d find this mortifying but I didn’t care, I wanted to be clean and feel fresh and I wasn’t bothered how I got that way!

During the operation, as well as removing the tumour, I had about a third of my bowel plus my right ovary removed.  The portion of my bowel they removed had been killed off by the tumour as it wasn’t allowing any blood to flow to it which was also the case for my ovary.

The removal of a portion of the bowel is called a bowel resection.  Luckily for me the surgeons were able to sew mine back together so there was no need for me to have a colostomy bag, however it pretty much meant that I had brand new bowels. I was told by one of the surgeons that the bowel is the one organ that when touched it panics and just stops working.  Because of this my bowels had to learn to work again and I had to build them up to help them along in their recovery.  In order to do this I had to slowly increase my intake of liquids and food.  I was only allowed water for a couple of days, then I progressed on to dilute juice on day three, on day four I was able to have a cup of tea, ice cream and yoghurt and on days five and six I was allowed low fibre solid foods.  My first cup of tea was incredible,  as was my first slice of buttery toast!

There were a few moments during recovery where I had to break down my own barriers of shyness and it’s fair to say I lost a bit of dignity!

Being on the HDU I was constantly monitored but as I began eating and drinking the doctors had to continually make sure nothing was coming back up through the tube that was going down into my stomach.  They also had to listen regularly using a stethoscope to check if the rumbling of my bowels had started.

I was asked by the doctors several times a day if I had passed wind or opened my bowels.  When I was asked for the first time I nearly died of embarrassment, giving them a shy and quiet ‘no not today’, but a few days in I was loudly declaring my latest bowel related news to anyone who would listen! I felt so relieved when my bowels started to work again and I felt so proud of my clever little body, not only for working so hard to keep me going for all of the months beforehand but for being so strong after the trauma it had just gone through.

Before the surgery I was quite naïve as to what was going to happen to me. I assumed that I’d go in to hospital, the surgeons would whip the tumour out and that’d be it.  I didn’t realise how difficult it would be, how serious the surgery was and that I’d have to teach my bowels how to work again.  I realise now how much I took my body for granted before.  The things our bodies do every day that we probably don’t even realise are absolutely amazing!

There was another big side effect of the bowel resection which I wish I had known more about before my surgery (I think?!)

Now I’m not sure if this is exactly the same for everyone so don’t take it as fact but it was the way it was for me, basically because my bowels were learning to work again the usual signs of knowing when I needed to go to the toilet disappeared and I was warned in the early days after surgery that there was a high risk of a poo related accident because of this.  It seemed to become a bit of a highly anticipated moment in the recovery process for me and most of the staff taking care of me.

Fortunately for me this long-awaited moment came whilst I was enjoying the luxury of a commode in my cubicle behind the curtains.  I felt so pleased with myself there had been no unfortunate accident and I slept soundly that night knowing I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

That same night I woke up at about 3am and buzzed for a nurse to help me out of bed so I could go to the loo.  As I got up I turned to my bed to see that I had actually been lying, for I don’t know how long, in a small pool of my own shit!!

I have to say at the time it felt like the most embarrassing moment of my life, though soon after I did learn to laugh about it!  Plus the nurses have seen it all before and they do an excellent job of cleaning up the mess and reassuring you. There’s no giggling behind your back or making you feel like it’s only you it’s ever happened to – it’s soon forgotten about.

It’s not the most pleasant story to share but at the end of the day it’s the reality of having a bowel resection without the colostomy bag.  The comfort for me was knowing that it was actually a good thing as it was a sign that my bowel recovery was well underway.  Let’s face it, there aren’t many people who are comfortable discussing their bowel habits so if this story either gives you a good old laugh, prepares you or lets you know you are not alone then that’s good enough for me!

After six days on the HDU it was time for me to be moved to a standard ward. All of the staff on the HDU were beyond amazing, they blew me away with how kind and caring they were and I had become as familiar with them as they had become with me.

It was about half an hour after Ash had gone home after visiting had ended on the Sunday night.  I was wheeled down to the ward and I was put in to a bay with two other ladies, they were both quite old and poorly which felt unnerving however one of them had 24-hour carers with her which was a comfort.

I didn’t take too well to my new surroundings though.  I was on an uncomfortable bed, hardly able to move or able to do anything for myself and the one to one care of a nurse was gone, it was awful.  I rang Ash and just burst in to tears.  I wanted to go home.  I felt like I had been cast out and left to fend for myself, which of course I hadn’t been but that’s what it felt like. I got the nurses to dose me up on as many painkillers as I was allowed and eventually managed to get off to sleep.

I told you I was dramatic!!

I spent a further two days in hospital before I was told the news that if I was able to tackle walking up and down a small flight of stairs I was allowed to go home.  I built it up so much in my head that I made myself scared – actually scared to walk up and down the stairs, although I was so desperate to go home that there was no way I was letting anything stop me and I did it on my first attempt!

Ash came to pick me up and I flew (well, was pushed in a wheelchair!) out of the hospital doors knowing I never wanted to go back.

Being back at home was great, though I just didn’t feel comfortable.  I was on edge and I felt quite stressed at not being in hospital with nurses monitoring me.  I had back ache that started soon after I got home but I put it down to moving around quite a bit that day and sitting in the car so I tried as best I could to ignore it.

Unfortunately that night after less than two hours sleep I started being sick. Ash called the ward that I had just been discharged from and they told us to go straight to Stepping Hill A&E, I was seen almost immediately and before I knew it I was lay back in a hospital bed, gorgeous hospital gown on, a cannula in my arm and on IV paracetamol.

After lots of tests, an X-Ray and a CT scan I found out that my bowels had stopped working. This meant that everything I had consumed for the past day or so couldn’t go down so it had to come back up.  According to the doctors it is something that normally happens five days post-surgery, not eight days which mine was.  I was back in hospital but I was relieved to be.  I’m pretty sure that has to be the shortest trip home before readmission to hospital on record!

I sincerely hope that I haven’t unnerved anyone with the tales I have told in this post – it was certainly not my intention if I did! I just want to prove that no matter how rocky your road is, time doesn’t stand still, you will get through set-backs and pain doesn’t last forever.  I am aware that not everyone’s experience is like mine and that there are some people out there in much worse situations than me.  I do think that every cloud has a silver lining, whether that silver lining is a funny story you can share, receiving crazy amounts of love, the beautiful care of a nurse or having new found time to yourself, it’s not all bad and we can all learn to find the good in any situation we face – even if it is just a little bit!

Leaving my life in their hands…Literally.

I don’t really remember much about the days after I found out I most likely had cancer. I think I’ve subconsciously blocked them out though I do remember feeling like I wasn’t actually living on this planet. I remember that although I tried to stay strong and positive I felt so angry and sad. I cried at the thought of dying, of leaving my family, of leaving Ash on his own and of not living to be as old as I thought I would.

I found myself feeling like a little girl again, I wanted my Mum to take away the pain and fix everything like she always seemed to do. But this wasn’t mum fixable, it was completely out of anyone’s control.

I love the house where Ash and I live, I love the beautiful things we have in it but all I wanted to do was smash everything up. I felt so angry and it was the only way I thought I was able to get it out of my system. Thankfully all of our house and its contents stayed intact and I made it through that very angry period with my hair straighteners, phone and make up brushes being the only things that took a bit of a battering!

My next step was waiting for the MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) meeting to be held at Stepping Hill Hospital. I was told that these meetings are a place where all the brainiest people in the hospital get together to discuss patients and what their plans of action are for treatment. I got a call to say that I had an appointment two days later on the Friday to discuss their plan for me.

The appointment is something else I don’t remember a lot about but I was told that my operation would be on the Tuesday of the following week, with admission in to hospital on the Monday before. There was a chance that they wouldn’t be able to remove the lump they now referred to as a tumour and that if they couldn’t they would only be able to do a biopsy. They were still in the dark as to what type of cancer I had and I still held on to the fact there was a slight chance it wasn’t cancer at all. It really seemed to be a case of opening me up to see what they found. There was a chance they were going to have to remove a portion of my colon because the tumour was squashing it and although they planned to attach it back together there was a chance that they wouldn’t be able to right away, in which case I would have to have a temporary colostomy bag. The doctors suspected that the cancer had spread to my pelvis and uterus and if that was the case there would be no point in removing the tumour because it was already too late. My heart sank, and what I mean by that it is felt like it dropped out of my body and smashed right on the floor underneath me. Although at the same time I felt peaceful. As well as Ash I had taken my friend Sophie to the appointment with me. She’s a doctor and came all the way from Liverpool to sit and listen, she seemed so confident in the doctors and so positive about everything. She didn’t seem panicked and I didn’t feel that I needed to be either. She was an amazing strength for me that day and so was Ash – I couldn’t have got through it without them.

I know, and not just because I have been told, because I have experienced having to do it, that being positive is absolutely vital in fighting.

The minute you decide something has its grip on you, you fall into a big black pit and it’s hard to get out. You won’t fight, your mind won’t fight and your body won’t fight.

I’m not saying that I have spent the past 11 weeks in denial about everything that has happened to me and is happening to me. It is shit, unfair, sad and so disgusting, I miss my other life before all of this and I wish that I could remember what I felt like before I had cancer, but I try everyday as best I can to fight, to fight my thoughts on a daily basis. It’s not easy though, it’s bloody hard!

We all have that choice, we either fight strong and carry ourselves through situations with hope and belief or we don’t fight and we carry on with nothing, accepting the worst and being completely miserable and ready to lose. I personally believe that goes for a lot of other things in life too, not just cancer.

During my last free weekend before the big operation I spent time with Ash and my family, drinking champagne, prosecco, anything fizzy, eating my favourite foods, shopping for bits and bobs I needed to take in to hospital and removing all of my gel nail polish – which I hated doing because I feel disgusting with naked nails!

My cousin Sarah and her husband Chris held a ‘Pre-op Party’ for me at their house. We sat in the garden and gave my old damaged body a proper good send off!! #laterscanceryoulittlebitch

Before I knew it Monday morning had rolled around and I was waiting for someone to call me to let me know my bed was ready for the night in Stepping Hill Short Stay Unit.

I arrived in hospital that afternoon and got settled in and straight into pyjamas! I spent most of the afternoon being asked and answering the same questions by various nurses and I had two of the stoma nurses come and draw a target on either side of my lower tummy for where the colostomy bag would go if I needed it.

Two of the surgeons who were going to be performing my operation came and saw me for a chat. The one I spent most time talking to completely scared me and I felt traumatised after he left, he made me feel angry at him because of what he was telling me, I didn’t think it was fair. I now know it was the drama drawers girl in me rearing her head because I look back and I see he was just being honest – he has since become one of my favourite doctors and when he came to see me after the operation he held my hand as he was talking to me – what a lovely guy! He told me there was a big chance the tumour wasn’t coming out at all and that because the tumour was lying right next to my vena cava (the bodies main blood vessel) they had to ensure there was no way they would risk performing surgery that may cause damage to it – I would more than likely bleed to death if they did. I asked the surgeon how long I would have lived if the tumour hadn’t been detected and had been left untreated, a couple of months at the most was the answer. I couldn’t believe it. If I hadn’t have kept pushing the doctors to take notice of me I probably wouldn’t be alive today.

I hadn’t eaten anything since about 9pm the night before I went in to hospital, no brew on Monday morning – I missed the two brews I usually have in the morning to wake up properly. I was on water all day and a pre-load drink to fill my body full of energy, which I had hoped would be like one of those protein shake type drinks – it turned out to be water with a special powder in it, nothing exciting and certainly not filling! I love my food so it was torture for me! I was starving and at about 6pm I was finally allowed to eat, it was the low fibre option so nothing fancy but I wasn’t going to refuse it. I took the lid off the plate I had been given…poached fish, boiled carrots, mashed potato, egg custard, cheese and crackers. It was vile, I heaved eating the potato and didn’t even touch the rest so all I ate were the two cream crackers with warm cheddar on them. Fab! I did get a black tea with sugar though, that was amazing!

That night after I had said a long emotional goodbye to Ash, even though the nurses were letting him sneak back in the morning, I managed to get some sleep. I woke up at 4am and couldn’t manage to nod back off because my mind was racing. I sat in bed and read over and over bible scriptures and the messages I had received over the past few weeks of love and encouragement. I had saved them in a folder on my phone and I had been reading them daily to help get me through each day.

I was brought up in a Christian family and so I have always believed in God. Whether he’s your cup of tea or not I believe he saves and loves us and carries us through hard times. I don’t believe he made me poorly. What I do believe is that he gifts super amazing people, people to research science for cures, out of this world surgeons who are able to mend our bodies and beautifully kind people to nurse us back to health.

I was absolutely terrified of the operation, of being cut open and all my insides exposed, scared of the surgeons not being able to take the tumour out, scared of the unknown and scared of being out of control. I was wheeled down to theatre at about 11:30am and was sat in bed in a little room opposite the big doors to the operating theatre. I had a student nurse on one side of me, we were talking about Buxton, I have lived there all of my life and she had recently moved there. There was the anaesthesiologist and another guy who were trying to get a machine working – they were about to hook me up to it so I was relieved when they decided to go and swap it for a different one. The anaesthesiologist was brilliant. I told him I had watched films and read lots of stories about people waking up in the middle of surgery, so I made him triple promise me that that wouldn’t happen to me. His exact words were ‘I promise, promise, promise you and absolutely guarantee you won’t wake up during surgery’ and I knew he meant it!!

I didn’t even have to count down to go to sleep because I must have been gone before I realised they were about to knock me out. The next thing I knew I was being woken up, I was in pain like I had never felt before and I took this as a good sign. I had been given a button to hold that I could press every five minutes to give me pain relief and I remember telling whoever I had around me that it was shit – I’m sure I heard a few laughs at that! I remember asking someone if they had removed the tumour but I was too out of it to listen to the answer. The next thing I knew I woke up on the High Dependency Unit, Ash was sat next to me and I asked him what had happened. He told me they had removed the tumour and that the operation had gone really well. Ash said to me later that the look on my face was such happiness and relief.

‘Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.’ – Unknown

The first photo below is the last picture of Ash & I before surgery and the second is the first picture taken of me afterwards.

Let’s Start From The Very Beginning..

Here is the start of my story – it is slightly more lengthy and detailed than I anticipated however it goes back a few months before I finally found out that I had been ‘gifted’ the shower of shit that is cancer!

Stage 2 Leiomyosarcoma – well between Stage 2 and Stage 3 Leiomyosarcoma. That’s what I got dealt.

Since around October 2017 I had suffered with repeat UTI’s (urinary tract infections for anyone not in the know!) Any girl who has ever had one will know how crappy they are, having to wee every 10 minutes and literally nothing comes out, burning, irritability, feeling like you’re losing your mind, and on top of that having to once again excuse yourself from work for another trip to the doctors. Sometimes I was prescribed with antibiotics, sometimes I was sent away after no infection trace came through on the dip stick tests. The doctor or nurse would feel my back to check I don’t know what but would send me on my merry way with nothing. I tried cranberry tablets, not using harsh soap to wash, drinking tons of water, herbal remedies. Nothing helped and it started to feel as though it was ruling my life.

At the beginning of 2018 I started suffering with really painful back and hip ache, constantly feeling down and unwell, I was bloated, had permanent heart burn and I was still going for a wee for what felt like a million times a day. I forced myself to get on with it, the doctors weren’t phased so it was obviously all in my head. No matter how many times I told the doctor or spoke to the nurses over the phone no one was doing anything about it. I knew something wasn’t right, I was putting weight on around my tummy, my clothes weren’t fitting. I must be pregnant I thought. I did loads of pregnancy tests – which was absurd anyway because I have the coil fitted. Nothing.

There were a few times when I felt like I was going to give up with the doctors. I felt stupid and embarrassed that I was pestering them but I carried on, I persevered and pestered some more. Most of us know how our bodies feel when we are well so we have a pretty good idea when something isn’t quite right. What I learnt from this was that non of us should ever let anyone else tell us how we feel or make us feel guilty and stupid for pushing to get help.

Just FYI I know not everyones experience with doctors surgeries are like mine and I’m not tarring them all with the same brush!

I decided to try the doctors one last time and got an appointment with a new doctor at my surgery – who I am now certain was an angel because she bloody saved me. I told her about the UTIs, the pain I was feeling and that I had started to notice a large lump on the right side of my belly. Me not having a clue where any of my insides are located except the obvious had been feeling this hard lump, it felt big and I just found it strange. She decided to refer me for an ultrasound scan at my local hospital. Little did I know what was coming next.

A week later I had the scan. It felt like it took forever. The lady who did it told me that my right kidney looked a little full and that she was sure the doctor would want to carry out more tests. In my foolishness I said ‘Ah ok, I had been feeling a bit of a funny lump there, it must just be that!’ – she didn’t respond. Derr how thick of me, I now know your kidneys don’t sit at the front of your body under your ribs!!!

No more than two hours later I was on the phone to the same angel doctor from the surgery. She was telling me that the scan had identified a lump, they were concerned about it and they were going to refer me on an urgent basis to Stepping Hill Hospital to have more tests. She told me these tests were to rule out cancer.

I felt panic, shock, how could she have just said this to me? How can this be happening to me? What is actually going on? I felt sick, I felt scared and I felt nothing all at the same time.

I felt pissed off that I hadn’t found my first boyfriend until I was 29, we had only been going out together for 17 months and we had only been living together less than six weeks. How bloody unfair.

I was told I would receive a call to attend an initial assessment with a consultant within two weeks. I got my call on the last day of that two weeks. It was awful waiting, knowing that I had something in my body that could be potentially killing me and noticing movements or feeling things in my body that I didn’t before – or was I imagining it because I knew what I knew. Every time my phone rang my stomach flipped. Finally the call came and I had an appointment, I was relieved!

The consultant I saw was lovely. She asked me a series of questions, had a feel of the lump and said that she would refer me for a CT scan which ended up being on the Sunday of the following week.

I was nervous about the scan but I had been told that CT’s were the kind ones, no tunnel just a giant plastic high tech polo (you know the mint?!) and a blue dye injected through a cannula that made you feel a bit warm, fuzzy, almost drunk and like you’d wet yourself!

I was nervous anyway because I was starting a journey of new things, of what if’s and a lot of wondering and waiting. I felt like it was all so utterly ridiculous anyway because it was surely just a cyst. You can’t even begin to get your head around it, around any of it and you start to feel as though you’re someone else. Like someone has taken over your body because it definitely doesn’t feel like yours anymore.

I didn’t really know what to expect next. Would I have a phone call from someone to go to an appointment to discuss the results? Would they send me an appointment in the post? I decided to just wait but people kept telling me to call and ask if the results were in yet. I was hesitant but I did it, I managed to get the direct dial of my consultants secretary – someone who would later know my voice so well that she didn’t even need to ask my name because I had rung so many times – I loved her for that and she was always so happy to take my calls.

I’m glad I got brave enough to call, a lot, it got me seen faster, it got me in for tests quicker. So don’t be afraid to call, don’t be someone who sits and waits. If you spend long enough trying and being as kind as you possibly can you will get through to the right person or get the number of someone in the know – trust me it’s worth it and it could be saving your life!

The secretary told me that my results were back but that my consultant was away that week. I was disappointed but thought hey ho, can’t be that serious, they wouldn’t wait to tell me something if it was serious. It was after this that I was heading out of work on my lunch break and I bumped in to a couple of ladies I work with – they practically forced me to call back straight away and ask to speak to someone else about my results – I’m so thankful they did that, talk about right place right time! I did as they said and was told there was a registrar I could possibly speak to, she was in surgery all day but she would try to get her to call me the next day.

I wondered if she was fobbing me off but low and behold the following day I got a call from the same medical secretary to tell me that the registrar didn’t want to speak to me over the phone and had asked if I could go in and see her that day. Right then I knew something was wrong, I pretended I wasn’t expecting the worst but I knew, deep down, I knew. I knew how my body felt, I remembered stuff I had read on the internet – naughty of me I know but I’m sure we’ve all done it! I knew I didn’t really believe people saying to me ‘oh they don’t even give good results over the phone’ or ‘it won’t be cancer you would have more symptoms’ or ‘don’t worry about it I’m sure you’ll be fine’. I think there is something in you that wants to believe all those positive things and of course wants it all to be ok but when you know, you just know. Well that’s how I remember it anyway.

Sitting in a room in Stepping Hill Surgical Assessment Unit with my boyfriend Ash, the registrar and a nurse – I knew that it wasn’t going to be great if someone had sent for back up! Looking back now I can’t remember exactly what was said but I was told that word no one ever wants, or expects to hear – CANCER. My first repose was ‘oh shit’ and I burst in to tears. I asked if there was anything else it could be, were they sure? At that point they weren’t completely sure as to what it was. It was suspected to be one of two rare types of cancer and there was a possibility but a very slim one that it wasn’t – I clung on to this for a long time – they don’t actually know.

Both the nurse and the registrar were amazing, they were kind and gentle and peaceful. Exactly what you need when you feel like your world has just collapsed around you. I felt numb to any feelings and words except practical questions like ‘can you take it out’, ‘how long has it been there’ and ‘will it affect how long I get to live’ when the registrar answered me with the words ‘there is a chance this could affect your time yes’ I wanted to be sick and I imagined my life disappearing right before my eyes for a split second. There was a lot of uncertainty in the answers I got as the registrar didn’t know herself but she answered as best she could. Remembering the pain I felt at that point still gives me goosebumps and makes me sad, thinking back to that conversation feels completely surreal.

I asked for a cup of a tea with loads of sugar. My mum has always said a tea with sugar does the trick for shock. I remember thinking it was one of the best cups of tea I had ever tasted.

We stayed in that room for a while, asked some more questions and I had some bloods taken, they were tumour marker and kidney function blood tests. The lump was pressing up so close to my kidney it was squashing the life out of it – finally an explanation for all the UTI’s I was getting.

They managed to get me in for a second CT scan that day – it was actually booked for the following week – I was more than lucky in getting the scan and the blood tests pulled forward a week – unbeknown to me at the time I didn’t have a lot of time to lose. The second CT was to see if the lump was causing any problems in my lungs or my upper body – I didn’t really click on to it but what they were actually looking for was to see if the cancer had spread.

After I left the hospital that day I kicked myself for the questions I didn’t ask. Advice given to me at the time was to write questions down as I thought of them in between appointments and to take someone else along to appointments as an extra set of ears. I did both of these things, they helped, massively and I highly recommend both.

I pulled myself together for the phone calls to my family, I am one of six girls so it wasn’t a quick job. My parents along with three of my sisters and their families were camping down in Lyme Regis – great timing hey, just when you want your Mum and Dad they’re five hours drive away. I hated ringing my family, hearing them cry and me telling them it would be ok, telling them to ring each other to console the other. It was at that point, although I didn’t realise at the time, but it was then that I took the first step in handling it like no one knew I had the power in me to do. I have always been dramatic, a right drama drawers, a total hypochondriac my sisters always said. I surprised myself and everyone else with how I turned out to be in a time of complete and utter crisis.

‘You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.’ – Bob Marley

My heart felt broken for my Ash, how could I have ended up being such a shit girlfriend who gets cancer. No one wants to be stuck with someone ill. I told him he didn’t have to stay with me, I understood. He needs someone better I thought, someone well. All this in the same afternoon I had pretty much been told that I had cancer. Nothing like kicking yourself when you’re down hey!?