Breast Cancer Survivor since 2011
Once I started chemotherapy, I became very depressed and withdrawn. I cut myself off from everybody with the exception of my husband and children. I wouldn’t even drop my kids to school because I didn’t want anyone asking me how I was doing. I couldn’t find the good in anything. Nothing gave me joy. I would go to bed at 8pm with the kids so that I could say another day was over and I could mark it off the calendar. People were trying to make me laugh but I had nothing to laugh about, so I just cut family and friends out of my life.
It took a good six months before I started to think that maybe I would come out the other end of this. I started to feel that this horrible nightmare would finish the day I finished radiotherapy. And it did.
That day I sent out a flood of texts to all the people who had been trying to support me through it all but who I had blocked out. I wanted to meet each of them as soon as possible. Once I started going out and meeting up with people again my outlook started to change.
A few weeks after finishing treatment, I went to see Leonard Cohen in Kilmainham with my husband and a group of friends. I’d bought new clothes, and there we were, sitting on the grass in Kilmainham on a beautiful summer’s evening. It was fantastic. I even had three classes of wine which I hadn’t been able to do in about 10 months. I woke up with my first hangover in a long, long time and it felt great.
We have a great life now. Now I feel like a survivor. I never thought I’d be able to say that. It’s a long road and there are buckets of tears along the way but I can’t believe my life now compared to three years ago. I never thought I’d be happy again.
I have no ambition to climb Mount Everest or run a marathon or anything like that. I’m at my happiest on a Friday night, sitting on the couch watching the Late Late Show with a glass of vino.
It’s all about the kids. As long as I’m here to see them grow up, that’s enough for me.