What cancer were you diagnosed with? Stage 3 Bowel Cancer
At what age were you diagnosed? 30
What has helped you to thrive? Husband and family; Changing my working habits; Being outside in nature more; Walking and running again; Mindful Self Compassion training and regular mindfulness practice (which still isn’t much a week but transformational!)
I’d just got married and was pregnant when I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. It was a huge shock and a lot to deal with.
We lost the pregnancy and I spent nearly 2 years in various treatments, surgeries and recovery stages. I was so angry, I couldn’t see past this incredibly tough part of the illness and watch life happening around me with any perspective. I can see why now – of course I wasn’t going to be ok!
I’d always worked in health, wellbeing and psychology and was now, more than ever, fascinated by how (often messy) life transitions and challenges shape who we are.
I see the grief cycle in myself and a lot of my work and see no shame in letting that be part of recovery – in fact, to understand the stages we go through, and continue to live by finding ways to move forward, is incredibly important to healing and our future.
When you’re young and have cancer there’s so many life stages and issues to think about – work, relationships, money, mortgages, sex, fertility, family, lifestyle and more. I now run coaching and therapy sessions in person and online, working with charities, NHS departments and private clients. We talk about all of this, and more.
Being part of a network that has such variety within it is really important; to know we’re not alone, to know we don’t have to suffer in silence and to know we won’t be judged for thinking negative or crappy thoughts… That’s empowering!