“In 1999 I was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was four months pregnant with my first and only child. I endured an operation while pregnant and then undertook seven weeks of ray treatment after the birth of my son – Bill. With a positive prognosis I endeavoured to get on with life enjoying my new baby.
In 2001 the cancer returned. A lump was found in my neck, spine, three in my liver and more deposits were found in various lymph nodes. I undertook a gruelling course of chemotherapy which was not entirely successful and so I entered the life of having widespread metastatic breast cancer which brings with it constant chemotherapy of some kind, regular check ups and painstaking tests. Along with this in 2004, four tumours were found in my spine when I collapsed at home. The tumours had fractured my spine and were also in a bone in my pelvis. More treatment ensued and my life is now snippets of joy in between periods of chronic illness.
Over these years, the disease has become more of a mental rather than a physical battle. I wake every day knowing that, on top of whatever happens in this day, I also have cancer to keep on top of. I have found that by thinking and doing things in life that I am passionate about, and being around people that I feel happy to be with, gives me the strength to enjoy life more and think less about the disease I have. I have always gained a great deal of satisfaction out of making a list of things I want to achieve in life and working my way through them. That is activities outside work, family committments.
Hence Dreams2Live4. If I could have my dreams come true what would the dreams be? I discovered I have many….. the number one thing I would really love to do is to be a back-up singer for a well known singer at a concert where there are thousands of people. Other dreams I have are cooking with a famous chef. Walking holidays with my husband and son to New Zealand and Spain. Driving Route 66 from New York to LA. While I think about and do these things I do not have time to die or be sick.
I believe if we can encourage people to think of what their dreams may be and help them achieve these dreams they just may improve the outlook of their disease. If not perhaps they will die with a huge big smile on their face. I know I will if I can achieve these, and hopefully more”.