My Cancer Journey , Changed the Perspective towards the life | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

My Cancer Journey , Changed the Perspective towards the life

I’d like to share my breast cancer recovery journey with you.
I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in late 2017 when a massive 7cm tumour was found in my left breast, along with multiple infected lymph nodes. I endured one year of gruelling treatments while working as a doctor in training and trying to keep my life as normal as possible.

My mum came to live with me and was a vital support. My friends and colleagues rallied around and were amazing. I had an incredible and supportive treatment team including an exceptional breast care nurse. I owe my life to these people! After a year of chemotherapy, losing my breasts (double mastectomy with left axillary lymph node clearance), and radiation I survived.

I thought the hardest part of my journey was over. Little did I know the hardest part of my journey was lying ahead! As I entered my recovery phase, I had to face the fear of uncertain, fear of cancer recurrence, and find my new normal on my own. You see doctors aren’t trained to provide recovery oriented care in the same way they are trained to diagnose and treat disease. So unfortunately, I was given very little guidance on how to pick up the pieces of my life and focus on living my best life. I knew my best life included one with daily wellness practices to reduce my risk of cancer recurrence and one that was also defined by living fully in the moment. I wasn’t sure how to do that as I was trying to process what I had been through and come to terms with the uncertainty of cancer recurrence that the future could bring.

That’s when I decided to take things into my own hand and be my own Doctor. I searched the research literature to find out what had been published on recovery and recovery oriented care. I wanted to figure out how to approach this recovery phase, how to emotionally heal, how to improve my resilience in the face of possible cancer recurrence, and how to best reduce my risk of recurrence.

Through this process, there are 10 truths about the Recovery Phase I’ve had to embrace to thrive. There are also 5 wellness rituals I find I need to do daily to be able to live my happiest, cancer free, life in moment. These include: getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right and avoiding toxins, connecting with self through mindfulness journaling, and connecting with others.

It’s been 2.5 years since diagnosis, I’m 35kg lighter, but more importantly, I am happier, and truly living my best life. My journey is not over, I still struggle with hormonal therapy side effects, risk of recurrence, and I have more weight I’d like to lose. Some days are easy, other days are hard. But each day I wake up, I start again, I practice wellness rituals as an act of self-love and compassion and I savour the present moment that life is giving me. What a blessing it is to be alive and to have this present moment!

I call out to people who are going through difficulties in their life whether it’s physical or mental health issues, or just wanting to optimise your wellness and resilience. Join me on my recovery journey, as I struggle, but persist with grit, hope, and gratitude to live my best life. Let’s take this journey together, after all there’s strength in numbers.

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