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Cancer- A Real Pain in the Tit

This is my best friend Izzy.

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She’s 28, she likes craft beer, classical music and cricket. Last month, another thing beginning with ‘C’ made an entrance into her life, albeit a very unwelcome one. After discovering a lump in her boob, Izzy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She asked if she could write a few guest posts on this old blog as a way of venting, explaining and processing everything, and so here’s the first.

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I am in the middle of dealing with the fallout of finding out you have breast cancer at 28. I am also into my first gin of the evening and may well be (definitely will be) into my second by the time I finish writing this, so excuse me in advance.

These are some things I can tell you:

1.      Finding out you have breast cancer at 28 is shit. It is possibly even more shit for the people around you. I have never done anything in my little life so hard as to tell my parents and people I love that this stupid disease means I am the one in three or whatever it is that gets cancer. It is, quite frankly, bullshit.

2.      I cry. A lot. But I haven’t cried very much about this. Mainly because I get really annoyed at myself for being a wetter but also because I’ve found it easier to not cry to stop other people crying. Also if I start I worry I won’t stop, the prospect of which really annoys me for some reason.

 
3.      What I am is quite cross, and also quite sweary. But to be honest I was both of those things beforehand so I’m not sure I can blame that on cancer.

 
4.      I really enjoy a) jokes about cancer and b) using ‘I have cancer’ to win board games against my boyfriend and brothers. My mum has told me off about this repeatedly. It’s been 3 weeks…I’ve got SO much more left in me.

 

5.      People are essentially good. I know it shouldn’t come as a surprise but I work in PR and reading the paper is my job, basically, so I spend a lot of my time weeping over how people/commentators/the media are dicks. But my friends and family, well they are fucking awesome. I don’t know how I found them or what favours I had to grant in a previous life to earn them but my god I’m grateful. I do not know how people survive this shit without them.
*sidenote: I realise I sound incredibly privileged and a dick. But it’s true*

 
6.      Doctors also, make or break your attitude to this pile of wank. My GP, love him, was completely useless, suitably vague and didn’t know how to deal with this shell shocked but also quite stubborn young woman who he’d just told had cancer. I literally wanted to punch him when he said “this is where people typically sit back and absorb this news”. No. I want you to tell me how to get this fucker out of me and how quickly I can get better. (Sorry, I did say I was sweary and cross). My surgeon on the other hand, I love. Just a total dude and let me call him Dave and swear and didn’t tell me off. Legend. I also accidentally hugged the fertility specialist I saw today. So awkward.

 

7.      Also on the medical care I’ve had – I’m in Australia (a UK national) so have had most of my care under their Medicare system. A few points:
a) GPs cost here, simply to go and see. So I had to pay for the privilege of finding out I had cancer. And that was NOT cheap. So NHS GPs, I LOVE YOU.
b) I had the first scans and stuff privately, cos it was quicker. But also you pay, so I shelled out 700$ for someone to repeatedly stab me with a needle.
c) my care (now in the public sector) has been exemplary. But I wouldn’t be entitled to this if it was for our amazing healthcare agreement between the NHS UK and Medicare here. Basically my point here is IF YOU DON’T THINK THE NHS AND ALL THE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS WHO COME WITH IT AREN’T WORTH SAVING THEN I AM SORRY YOU ARE A MORON.

Over and out.

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Isn’t she cool? She’s a bloody legend. Strong and determined and brilliant.

If you take anything from this, then maybe it’s that it’s finally time to start regularly checking your chebs (and while we’re at it, going for that smear test you keep putting off). CoppaFeel have a BRILLIANT guide to how to do it which you can find HERE.

If anyone has any comments or would like to share advice, stories or just tell her some excellent cancer jokes, you can email me at bloodyhellbrennan@live.com, or send me a DM on twitter @katie_brennan and I will pass everything on.

As I said before. GO HOME CANCER, NO-ONE INVITED YOU TO THE PARTY.

LOVE YOU GUYS XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

8 Comments

  1. Louise Olley

    January 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    What a brave, beautiful and amazing woman you are Izzy! FUCK OFF CANCER. NOBODY EVEN LIKES YOU. Keep strong, lovely woman. You are quiet simply the best. (And so loved. I hope you know that.)

    -x-x-

  2. jo hibbs

    January 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Ah Izzy your words are wonderful that bastard cancer enters peoples lives unmercifully, Stay strong and stroppy until the C HAS FUCKED OFF , Love katys aunty Jo and uncle Dave xxxxxxxxx

  3. Clare

    January 2, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I am very proud to call Iz my little sister… She is a total legend and her strength is inspirational.
    Love you love you love you, little sis…
    xxxXxxxXxxxXxxx

  4. Gillian lowey

    January 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Brave , wonderful and beautiful in so many ways………after this shitty experience is behind you you will even braver, even more wonderful and even more beautiful in even more ways.
    Just remember you are so loved and we are all with you every step of the way.
    FGM x x x x x x x x x
    Oh how I wish that bloody wand of mine really worked!

  5. Patrick Kennedy

    January 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I’m with you!!!! I love you. Pod x

  6. Isobel

    January 3, 2016 at 1:14 am

    My only comment on this is that I am annoyed you didn’t use ‘chumpy but also quite big’ to describe me. The highest accolade of Sam Brennan compliments.
    Oh and also everyone is amazing and I love you k thanks bye.

  7. Rosie Fiore-Burt

    January 3, 2016 at 8:24 am

    My darling Izzy. Well, this news sucks the big one, eh? I am sure the appropriate response should be to send you love and light and healing prayers or some shit, but I am too angry on your behalf to do that. Instead, I send you extra swear words, many of them in Afrikaans (quite the best language to swear in), and a punch in the cock for the ineffectual GP. I love you immensely, you beautiful sparkly girl., and if anyone is going to kick cancer firmly in the tender parts, it’s going to be you.

  8. Kate

    January 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Izzy, your attitude is so completely and utterly inspiring! I don’t really have words for any of it because I’m just so blown away by your attitude towards this, of course I mean that in the best possible way!

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