With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Roisin Dunne

Breast Cancer Survivor since 2012

When they told me I had breast cancer all I could think about was my daughter. As a single mother with a four-year-old girl, I couldn’t bear the thought of her going through her life alone. I didn’t want Darcy to grow up to be a sad person with a sad story, but I couldn’t help thinking about all the big occasions in her life that I would miss.

Even though her communion was three years away, I went out one day and bought her a communion dress. I put it in the back of the wardrobe and told nobody about it except my mother. If I didn’t make it to that day, I wanted her to know that she was wearing a dress that her mum picked out for her.

To protect her from what was going on we never talked about cancer around her. We created a code name for cancer. We called it Kevin. My mum was say ‘How is Kevin today?’ and I’d say “He’s a bit tired today’ or ‘He’s not doing too bad’.

I felt so guilty for bringing Darcy into this world and then placing all this sadness on her.

But on 17th of May this year, Darcy made her communion in a brand new communion dress that we picked out together. I was standing there right beside her, cancer free.

These days I live for the day I’m in. I don’t worry about saving for that rainy day anymore. Life is too short.

I value the people in my life so much more. Family, friends, neighbours – they were all so good to me. My neighbours arranged a rota between them so that I had a hot, healthy, home-cooked meal served to me every evening in bed. Things like that meant the world to me.

And I don’t worry about what people think of me anymore. I’m not afraid to be silly.

One wet day Darcy and I made it from the top of Grafton St to the bottom dancing and jumping in puddles and singing Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs.

People must have thought I was crazy but once you’ve had to walk around with no hair and no eyebrows and bloated from steroids, looking silly doesn’t really matter. I was giving my child happy memories and that’s more important than fitting in.