Hope After Cancer Georgina's story
Georgina (she/her) - Greek Cypriot origin, born and raised in East London
Diagnosed in 2019 - Breast Cancer
I am loved. I can do it. I am worthy.
In November 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and within 9 months I’d had a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Chewed up and spat out in a way which sent shockwaves through so many aspects of my life, my world post cancer has been many things:
Confusion – Things change when you’ve had cancer and I struggled to make sense of a lot of things. What did I want out of life now?
"After months of coaching, self discovery and just ‘having a go’ at stuff, I think I’m finally getting it."
Frustration – Your body, and the things it lets you do, change. I’ve only just started to regain muscle and bone strength through a post cancer weights fitness programme, which in turn is allowing me to rediscover my love for running gentle jogs.
Fatigue – I honestly thought I’d just need a few weeks to recover from my last chemo round, and then I’d get back on with life. Didn’t happen. And the impact the fatigue has had on my life is huge. But I’ve learned to accept my new limitations and know now that when my body needs rest, I rest.
Fear – It joined me very early on in my journey and it’s still hasn’t really left me. Over time I’ve learned to tame the ‘monster’, but I still worry about the cancer coming back. My son is 5 now, the mere thought of him growing up without me is really upsetting. But as I say, I’ve learned to accept and live with that beast now.
Gratitude – Because I also know I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m lucky I caught my lump so early. It was around 1cm in diameter, a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. I do wonder if someone was looking down on me the day I found it, who knows. But I feel blessed, and with each of my son’s birthdays since, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I’m still around to watch him grow.
Inner peace – I’ve always been a planner, constantly looking towards my next project, at times letting life’s pleasures pass me by. I still plan, but I plan in days, weeks, occasionally months, certainly not years so much. I’ve learned a lot about living in the moment. And while I do sometimes sweat the small stuff, I also recognise what matters and what doesn’t. It’s a wonderful feeling not caring about things and relationships which once caused you stress.
Finally, if I could recommend one thing it would be to connect with like-minded people. For me that came through the Life after Cancer Coaching programme.
It was a real springboard in coming to terms with the emotional trauma of what I’d been through.
Whatever network it is, whichever activity you use as an excuse, I highly recommend connecting with people who know first hand what you’ve been through.