Hi my name is Rhiannon,
I’m a 33 year old married, mother of one gorgeous little 2 year old girl, a teacher and I live just outside of London in the UK. I am currently blogging my way through breast cancer on Instagram @thebigcandme to raise awareness of breast cancer and cancer in people under 40 and offer support to other cancer patients and anyone who is interested in what happens during cancer treatment.
I am currently fighting breast cancer, a survivor of thyroid cancer that I was treated for in 2009, when I was just 24. That in itself made such a huge impact to my life, my outlook and encouraged me to get into working for a cancer charity as a befriender to cancer patients,raising money for charity by doing fun runs and half marathons and also exploring my spiritual side by learning and becoming a reiki healer. Being so young and having cancer was very isolating and lucky for me I had a great support network around me of friends and family to help me get back to living a normal life. I was lucky enough to conceive my daughter through a successful cycle of IVF treatment, that I needed as my treatment for thyroid cancer had affected my fertility and I was told I couldn’t conceive naturally. My daughter was born in April 2015 and I was the happiest women you will ever meet. I had my miracle baby! All was fine and like all new mums it took a lot of getting used to but I cherished ever single moment of having her the good and the bad! I breastfed my daughter until she was 22 months old, a month after I had stopped I noticed a large lump in my left breast. I just put it down to a blocked milk duct as I had just stopped breast feeding. I made an appointment that day to see the docs and was referred to the breast clinic within two weeks.
During my appointment I was seen by two doctors, had multiple biopsies and was told I had breast cancer. It was a shock but after having cancer already I felt calmer this time cancer was part of my life, I knew what to expect and I didn’t have to deal with my change of identity again. We had to wait a week to see what the biopsies came back with. It was a tough week, I went through every worst case scenario you can think of. Luckily when my results came back I asked them outright – am I going to die? That was my worst case scenario of course, anything else I could cope with. They told me it was treatable but I would need a lot of treatment. I’m coming to the end of my chemotherapy treatment to shrink my tumor in preparation for a lumpectomy, some radiotherapy then hormone therapy that I will need to take for 5 years. I will be induced into an early menopause and hopefully all this will stop my breast cancer returning.
It is a long road to recovery but I am so lucky I will get to see my daughter start her first day at school, live a relatively normal life and potentially have more children with the frozen embryos I still have in the future (I hope!)
I so have the perspective from befriending all these cancer patients over the years, where they were terminally ill or had a very poor outlook for their future. I would sit with them while they were having their chemo or go to their house and listen to them talk about their anxieties and their feelings about their mortality. I’m very lucky indeed and each day that goes by I give thanks for the support and love I have in my life.
My blog has been a wonderful success I have over 850 followers and counting who contacted me from all over the world looking for advice and support which with all my befriending and counselling training I feel I am able to offer a sympathetic ear and point people in the right direction for help and support.
Cancer has been a huge part of my life for 8 years now and I hope that I can use my experiences to help and support others going through hard times too! I’m trying my best to use my positive attitude and outlook to show people that a positive metal attitude can help to get you through in your darkest of times!