The 10 Day War

The first few days after the biopsy were filled with endless google searches for cancer, breast lumps, biopsies, mastectomy, treatment, prognosis, diagnosis and everything in between.

I read a blog by a woman, also called Donna, who was fighting breast cancer in Canada. She had posted pictures of herself with no hair and i was both humbled and dismayed by her bravery. How could she commit all her thoughts and experiences to the written word? I knew if i was diagnosed i would just be able to exist.

I convinced myself I had breast cancer. I was certain of it. 

I thought of my children growing up without me and I almost couldnt stand it.

I couldnt imagine my 2 year old's first day at school. I couldn't see my new born take his first steps. I looked into the future and I wasn't in it. It was the singularly most terrifying feeling i've ever known.

David did his best to reassure me to the contrary but the mind is such a powerful tool that I just wanted to find the off switch and be at peace for a few hours.

And then I just couldn't torture myself any more. My mum mentioned Schrodingers Cat to me during a phone call and, though I don't think this is what Schrodinger meant, I realised that if i've got cancer then i've got it and no amount of moping would change that.

So we packed the car and headed off to the Lake District for a few days.

My parents had bought a caravan on a site near Cartmel a few years earlier and I loved it there. It reminded me of childhood holidays and the smell of the caravan was like comfort food for my soul. The fact that there is very limited phone reception is like manna from heaven given that I have a job with a constantly ringing mobile.

My parents joined us for the holiday and we had a great time.

We flew a kite on a nearby field (strangely i've never done this before and found it very relaxing), my 2 year old played football with his grandad and we had quizzes in the caravan until the early hours. It was just the distraction I needed and, before I knew it, we were back in Liverpool and it was the day before the results.

Latest comments

20.12 | 20:45

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the kind words.
I did indeed work in North Cyprus back in the day - Turkbet?

18.12 | 11:06

Hi Donna, remarkable, uplifting and inspiring read.
Did you ever work in North Cyprus around 10 years ago?

15.10 | 17:15

Hi Donna, you are so inspiring. I have just had my 2nd mastectomy 8 days ago out of choice, first one was 5 months earlier as small cancer found.well done you

30.09 | 15:12

well done for finishing EPI!

I can't send a longer response on here but would like to share my experience of CMF at or the forum on macmillan.