You are often pleasantly surprised when things aren't as bad as you expect them to be.

1 minute read time.

I really don't mean to minimise anyone else's bad experiences (or my own), and I know a diagnosis of cancer is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.

But I have found, several times over the last few months, that my spirits have been really lifted by unexpected positive experiences since my diagnosis, so I thought I'd share them.

I had an operation two weeks ago to remove a tumour from my right breast, but when the tissue was analysed there wasn't a "clear margin". There was cancerous material too close to the edge of the material they had taken out, which meant they would have to operate on me again. Unfortunately, there is no way of distinguishing the good from the bad by eye, so there is a chance the second operation may not be the last.

Soon after I was told this, I began to fret about having the second operation, and thought that maybe, because of the uncertainty, I'd prefer to opt for a mastectomy on that side. I was eventually put off the idea because a mastectomy with reconstruction (my choice) is a long procedure with followup surgery required anyway.

I had my second surgery yesterday, and it was a far far easier experience than my first. It was a shorter operation so my system was exposed to less drugs, and only part of the original scar needed to be re-opened. I was much more alert afterwards, less nauseous, and less sore. Also, the nurses, specialists and my wardmates were all absolutely lovely. I am learning so much.

For some of us, it is in our nature to imagine the worst, and we can't help that. Not only does the worst mostly not happen, but also I hope some of you will find, like me, that there are pleasant surprises, a learning journey, and wonderful people to meet along the way.

  • It easy to imagine the worse, we are simply not in control of how the cancer behaves in our bodies and just don't know. I too, though, have been buoyed up by all the wonderful people that I have met over the least 9 months.