It all started … with denial. I felt something. Could it be what I was feeling was just a muscle strain? Surely if I waited a couple of days it would go away.
Breast cancer was never something I thought that I would ever have to deal with. I only have one relative that had breast cancer – she was diagnosed at the same age as me – 43 – and she died a year and a half later.
But she had breast cancer on the other side of the family, the side I was not related to. She also had other risk factors.
This should not be happening to me!
I’ve been told that the majority of women who get breast cancer do not have relatives with cancer. I am now part of that statistic – or at least, my part in that statistic will be positively confirmed by Wednesday. I wonder, how is it possible that the majority of women who get breast cancer do not have relatives with cancer? If the lifetime risk for getting breast cancer is one in eight, then how do those numbers add up? I am definitely going to have to do some research into this.
I’ve decided that my approach to this new challenge in life is to look at it as an academic. Why not? It gives me a perspective and a way to focus. I shall look at this blog as a journal into lived experience, combining the medical jargon with the lived-experience of someone with breast cancer. I shall be negotiating how this new identity of mine changes who I am as an open academic.
Today my goal in life changes. Today, I can now say that I want to be identified as a breast cancer survivor, as the alternative doesn’t look so grand!