One year after my Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Well it is just over one year after my Breast Cancer diagnosis so I thought I’d update you with how things have been going for me.
On November 20th 2015 I wrote this post, sharing that I have Breast Cancer. I since shared my surgery, experience of chemo and radiation, the dark days and the wonderful one.
It’s been a long year but despite the obvious hard times, it’s been the best year of my life for so many reasons.
You may have already seen me (and my new grown hair after I lost it all!) on Facebook Live recently but I wanted to share the update here too.
I had my annual ultrasound and mammogram last week and the results were…all clear! No sign of breast cancer at all – hurray! I didn’t expect there to be any, I was confident that the cancer was removed during the lumpectomy and hadn’t spread.
Of course there is always a chance that it could reoccur but I’m doing everything I can to not focus on that and live my life.
Here’s a bit of an overall update on how things are, 1 year on:
Chemo finished in mid-May. I actually had my last 2 sessions cancelled altogether as the peripheral nerve damage to my hands and feet was getting to the point of worrying both me and my Oncologist. It started as pins and needles, which is very normal, but then began to affect my balance and the numbness in my fingertips was affecting my ability to type.
Being a Writer, typing is an essential part of making a living for me and we decided that having a good quality of life post-chemo was too important to risk having any more sessions. Cancelling the final two did not concern her or me. I certainly felt physically like I’d had more than enough!
So three months since I finished treatment, I still have some pins and needles every day and still wobble a bit when I stand up first thing in the morning or if I’ve sat down for a long time but it isn’t anything like it was. I expect this to last for a while, possibly forever, but if that’s the only damage I’ve come away with, I’m good with that.
Let’s talk hair!
So, mid-May, I was almost completely bald apart from a few wispy white hairs coming through – very nice!
Since then, and at a painfully slow pace, my hair has started to grow back in and I’ve actually had two mini haircuts to make it look like more of a pixie style since then. My hairdresser, Hailey, is wonderful and is going to keep cutting it in a way so that it grows into a short bob. I can’t imagine having long hair every again – I mean, I don’t want to. The thought of having hair resting on the back of my neck freaks me out. How weird is that given that I had elbow length hair for so many years!
I wish it was growing faster. Every day I race to the mirror hoping the short bob has finally appeared and every day I’m disappointed. Hey ho. Anyone have any tips to make hair grow faster?
Eyelashes and Eyebrows
Well these grew back in quite quickly! My eyelashes were particularly lovely and long. And then all the little fekkers fell out again, every last one.
My eyebrows also thinned and I had to start drawing those in again. Chemo really is the shitty gift that keeps on giving!
They’re now back though and I’m back to considering sellotaping them on – what do you think?
I did read that they might all fall out a few more times every few months so it wasn’t unexpected but when you start to look like yourself again and then they fall out and you look ‘ill’ because of it, it’s upsetting. Enough of that though, those b*tches are back and I’m happy about it!
This is a funny one really.
I feel pretty AMAZING. It definitely feels like all of the chemo has left my system now and I feel brilliant compared to how I did 6 months ago.
I still get tired sometimes and my fitness level is zero (I’ve finally started exercising though). I also keep picking up colds and bugs from the kids but on the whole, I feel like a new person.
During treatment, I was hospitalised a few times for having dangerously low neutropenic levels. Probably the scariest times of my life where each time I thought I might possibly not make it through.
My immune system took a total beating during chemo and it’s taking some time to recover but I’ve started taking Probiotics from Life-Space to rebuild it – they very kindly are giving me a 6 month supply of them after hearing about my treatment.
One thing that has become so obvious to me is that I need to look after my well-being and stay healthy not only for me but also for my family. I want to be a strong and healthy role model for my children.
So I’m looking forward to feeling the effects of the probiotics and the exercise combined with a bit more hair! I just want to feel as good on the inside and outside as I do in my mind.
Finished treatment for cancer is a huge milestone in itself. It’s a tough journey and one I hope to never travel again.
I don’t look like ‘me’ any more. Even when my hair grows back in, I’ll never be ‘me’ again. I like the new ‘me’ though.
Now I embrace life differently. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Now I love harder, laugh louder and make the most of every opportunity I get.
I will rebuild my life from the inside out in a healthy, positive and meaningful way.
Thank you so much for all of your lovely messages of support over the past year. They lift me up and keep me going.
Love from Mim x x x
- I have Breast Cancer
- What to Say to Someone who has Cancer
- My Triple Negative Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment
- One year after my Breast Cancer diagnosis
- A Gift Idea for Cancer Patients
- 5 Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients
- Thank You for your Support
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I was diagnosed with triple breast cancer on Sept 29th and will be starting chemo on oct 18th. Staying positive while going thru this.
Wishing you ALL the best Cheryl – you have got this x x
I found your blog soon after my triple negative diagnosis in August 2020. I loved your transparency about the process. It inspired my to create my own blog to keep family and friends up to date in how I’m doing. My surgery will be after the ACT treatments, then radiation after that. I’m halfway through my AC now, glad Taxol will be easier. Did you get a Neulasta patch to help with your white cell count? Hearing about your low counts made me wonder. They are giving my one after each session.
Hi Crystal! Oh I’m so happy it helped you. And I hope you’re feeling well – I’m sure taxol will be much easier for you x I had the injection to help yes. Sending you so so much love and keep in touch x x
I just watched your vlog and I was diagnosed with triple negative in February 2020, and started my chemo mid-March. Did 4 rounds of AC bi-weekly and had just started one treatment of taxol and then stopped due to a reaction to it. Stoped chemo and waiting for lumpectomy. I love your attitude when dealing with the diagnosis. I too was sad when I got the news but then realized positivity is the key to this “journey”. I can’t be sad and depressed for myself or my family. I need to be optimistic and fight this battle.
Hi Zoe! You have such a great attitude and YES – positivity (when possible) makes all the difference. I’m sending you so much love, happy and positive vibes and keep in touch x x
Thank you for your log – most especially the part about your triple negative breast cancer, because I am currently fighting this. I have finished 12 rounds of taxol and now about to (was supposed to today but my counts are too low to start it) start the “red devil”. I appreciate you sharing especially about how cancer has changed you forever — it certainly has changed me forever. I cannot wait until after surgery and radiation are done, and I am a year out from February 20th (when I was diagnosed)/
Hi Jill – first of all, I’m sending so much love and light to you and ALL the good vibes :) I’m now 3.5 years on from my diagnosis and if you have any questions or want to chat, please do feel free to pop me an email :) x x
Dear how were the side effects from taxol , i just finished my AC 4 times and i have to do 12 taxol weekly but i am terrified.
All the best for u and tour family
Taxol was much much easier on me than AC :) Well done for finishing up AC hurray! My Dr described Taxol as a ‘walk in the park’ compared to AC – wishing you the best x x x
You are so brave and rightly should embrace life with a new outlook x
Thank you so so much lovely x x
Oh I am so pleased to read this what a year it has been for you. I have no suggestions for the hair but I think it looks lovely short especially with the heat over there. Lots of love xx
Oh thank you so so much! Definitely glad the year is done :) x
Congratulations being cancer free, that’s the best news
, and a weight lifted from your shoulders. I have enjoyed your posts, and your amazing attitude. Have an absolutely fabulous Christmas you beautiful maiden.????????????????????????
God bless you and your family.
Oh thank you so so much! x
Love this post. It’s great to hear your good news, hear you with all the positives and the new you. Can’t help with the hair advice, mine takes a long time to grow (apart from my fringe – dammit!)
Oh thank you lovely! Ha ha my fringe was the same in the past although now it won’t grow fast enough argh! x x
Big hugs Mim. What a year it has been for you. I’m so happy to have been able to read along with your journey and see you well again xx
Thank you so so much beautiful, definitely glad to be out the other side! x x