Light follows darkness: unimagined experiences, unexpected ways to be heard.

Though a little neglected in recent years this blog continues to occupy my thoughts and its purpose, to share information about the experience of breast cancer and the things a HER2+ diagnosis entailed hasn’t faded.

When I began writing everything I read suggested the outlook for people who are HER2+ remained doubtful. Despite best efforts to think otherwise, I sometimes doubted I’d see the 2020’s. Hope and doubt coexist a little more regularly these days but being carefree isn’t something I imagine very often.

Light follows darkness though and part way through my training I’m already working with people who have cancer. This path, from patient to advocate and more recently as advocate and carer, was unintentional yet somehow feels right. A way of putting unwanted experiences to use, to give something back for as long as I’m able.

It brings other unexpected opportunities too, to research and attempt to write formally about the experience of breast cancer patients as part of my academic nursing development. Over the coming months I’ll be looking at themes that come up in breast cancer blogs and hope to identify topics that rarely gain attention in mainstream media or formal writing but impact us greatly as breast cancer patients before, during or when we find ourselves beyond the realms of current treatments and what they offer for us.

Please let me know if you’d like me to read your blog, specific blog posts or if you have themes you think it would be useful to explore. I am new to this kind of research and would like to raise our voice, as well as shedding light on the things that affect us greatly but still fail to receive the attention they deserve.

2 thoughts on “Light follows darkness: unimagined experiences, unexpected ways to be heard.

  1. I found your blog not long after I found I had breast cancer. I was totally devastated when I was told I was HER2+, so I then learnt I was triple positive. My surgeon basically said I’m sorry to tell you this but this is not the outcome I was hoping for. However as each year passes I’m still here even though I’m suffering long term side effects. I knew before Xmas 2012 I had cancer and I had to wait until the second week in March 2013 to get my breast removed. Thank goodness for private medical insurance as the public system here in New Zealand is a post code lottery. (if you are in a big city you will get seen faster than if you live in the far south of the country) I got through chemo and kept a little notebook of what happened when i was well enough to write in it. I had a really rough time with chemo. I got the very worst of the side effects and even today I still get extremely sore feet and if I get overtired I just hit the wall. You have done a wonderful thing with your blog for people with cancer in that you have spoken about things that we are never told about. This is a heart felt thanks from the bottom of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Ann, thank you so much and warmest wishes from the U.K. I hoped to shed some light on familial cancer, HER2+, chemo and immunotherapies, surgery and the aftermath of all of this. The “official” books/leaflets we’re given barely touch the surface of our lived experience and similar to NZ, healthcare is a bit of a postcode lottery…. I can’t help thinking we become (extremely resilient) butterflies in the midst of one almighty hurricane!


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