When my (Josie here!) cancer journey began I was a 46 year old wife to Simon and mother living in Adelaide, South Australia. My children are adults now, with one living overseas, the other still living at home. I was working as a travel blogger and freelance travel writer, spending a good portion of each year travelling to destinations near and far.
Not much of that has changed. My daughter has moved back to Australia, but is now living interstate. Covid-19 has slowed down the international and interstate travel, but I am still busy as ever with local travel.
Aside from travel, I love to read, walk, hike and be active. I have an unhealthy obsession with jigsaw puzzles and I rarely watch tv. I spend one day a week being favourite Aunt to my four-year-old niece and nephew, the rest of the time is being a slave to my laptop.
Cancer was not a huge surprise to me, but the form was. I have a family history of melanoma, and with lovely pale skin in the harsh Australian sun I have been just waiting for that to raise it’s ugly head. I did not expect to get breast cancer. Only one family member – an Aunt – has previously had breast cancer over twenty years ago, and with a lumpectomy and radiation, she has been cancer free ever since.
I’ve discovered in the last few years that I love to write. I was initially not going to write my cancer story, but I believed this process would be cathartic – and it absolutely was! It often helped me straighten thoughts out in my own mind, and now it has become a great resource others find helpful in their own journey.
No two breast cancer cases are the same. Here’s a quick run down of mine for those who understand the terms or who are going through it themselves and are looking for similar cases.
Stage 1 – IDC 6mm/DCIS 10cm of right breast, ER+ 90%, PR+ 50% HER2-
No vascular invasion, lobular neoplasia or lymph node involvement, clear margins on both invasive tumour and DCIS.
The blog posts as it happened
These are the posts on my blog describing each step of the process I went through, from diagnosis to nipple tattooing. They were all written as each stage happened, and you can see how the story changes as it goes along.