Hello, I’m Maria! I am 49yrs old and I am Irish. I have been living in North London for 28 yrs. I work for London Underground as a customer service manager and it’s a part -time position. I have no children, no pets, and no family here in London.

On 3rd October 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer they found two tumors in my left breast. The cancer is Her-2 negative and Her-2 positive with lymph nodes involvement. So I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on 9th Nov 2016. I currently completed two sessions of 6 rounds of chemo, radiation therapy, herceptin injections and will need hormone blockers for 5-10 yrs. Cancer has put certain things into perspective in my life. Things, that were stressing me out like work, worrying about silly things, for example a bad hair day, am I liked, I’m not good enough? These things things don’t bother me now. Also, I have less tolerance for being treated badly and will not accept being spoken down to or not being appreciated. This is something I wish I had more of before I had cancer, the ability and guts to stick up for myself. Last year, April 2016, I had decided after 20 yrs working a full time shift work, for London Underground, that I wanted to have a life. So I went to part time. I now have two weeks on and two off, and I have time to spend doing something that gives me personal satisfaction. I hadn’t decided what that was yet and then, I was diagnosed with cancer in October.

Money has never motivated me, all I ever wanted was to meet somebody special to share my life with and be happy. I still do believe that can happen. I’m optimistic about the future and am looking forward d to finishing treatment and being fully fit. Cancer has made me better able to live in the moment and enjoy the present. I’m able to appreciate things that before, I would have taken for granted, like nights out with friends, however short the time we spend, chats with strangers and random people in the day. I try to find ways to keep positive and try to make any interaction with people a positive experience.

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