Under review

It’s been a while since I last posted an update.

I had my July follow-up with the oncologist who wanted to see how things are going with Tamoxifen. I mentioned the concerns about not being able to get my words out properly, the forgetfulness and the inability to focus with that slight foggy brain feeling. She said that it might take a while for my body to adjust to the treatment but also suggested that these might still be all the after-effects of the chemo.

I decided to switch the times at which I take the pill and it seems to have made a difference. When I first started, I took it in the morning with breakfast so that I’d be able to monitor any side effects. Now and for the past few weeks, I’ve been taking it last thing at night and haven’t noticed any side effects. Very grateful. I do feel groggy in the morning and it’s very difficult to get out of bed, but it’s preferable to brain fog during the day.

The last appointment with my breast consultant in July also went well and she asked to see me again in the autumn when my annual mammogram on the other side is due.

With all that happened in the last few months, I’ve been craving to be out of London and by the sea. So, a trip that was booked a while ago to the Greek islands came at the perfect time. 10 days of pure bliss on the Cyclades islands of Santorini and Paros. Such beautiful places – no idea why I hadn’t explore that part of the world before. I ate so well – fresh fish from sea to plate every day accompanied by vegetables or salads. I could have easily stayed there all summer. Being in these beautiful, serene surroundings has given me some space to process some of the things that have happened.

I feel like a lot of things are currently under review for me: where I live – both my flat and London, how I spend my time and with whom, work and future plans. I have always enjoyed my job and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved over the years but I feel restless. I feel like there is something else I need to explore in addition to what I’m doing. I don’t yet know what this is but I know that I need to put myself into a different setting to explore this.

In the meantime, I know that I need to spend more time outside of London. I love the city but something has shifted. A part of me is tempted to take a good chunk of time off and travel. Another part wants to embark on a course (to become a natural chef for example), or maybe start travel blogging/ reviewing and yet another hasn’t got the energy or conviction to make a massive change just yet. I guess time will tell. Sometimes I catch myself questioning whether everything really did happen. I still struggle to grasp the concept itself, still find it difficult to even talk about cancer, despite reading huge amounts about it. I was at the Haven earlier today following the recommendation of my friend Laura. Such a tranquil, beautiful place with a great support network. While speaking with someone there, I was asked to share some information about my breast cancer journey and speaking out about it is still hard – it’s as though a different person is talking even though it’s me and it’s my voice. Hard to explain. I feel less anxious these days but more contemplative, partly restless but partly at ease that this reflection and review will bring about some positive changes.