The C-Word

The C-Word : by Debbie Cleary

My motivation had been waning for a long while, and I would sit wondering how to get it back. Nothing in my life seemed to excite me anymore. I could go far back in my past and explain all that has happened, but the past is gone, so I am fast-forwarding to a short few weeks ago – early January.

I received a call from Breast Screen, to say that I hadn’t made my appointment yet, as I was six months late. I made the appointment, had my mammogram and waited for my letter to say “all is well.” I didn’t get that letter.

While juggling my grandson in one arm and unlocking the door, my phone rang. Answering it with just a “hello”, not my usual professional Deb speaking. It was Breast Screen asking me to come back in as there was a slight change in one of my breasts. I needed to block out the day, could I come in Friday 27th of January?

My reply was “no, that I was going away with my Mum for four days.” That was my priority as my mum’s health isn’t the best since having breast cancer fourteen years ago, then bowel cancer, skin cancer and now heart problems. So this trip was about making memories.

Monday January 30th was my next option and so the appointment was made.

Monday came very quickly after having a great four days away, with lots of laughter and meeting a very special man at Lilydale Falls (but that is another story.) Monday came all too quickly. I remember going to say I was leaving for my appointment to my Mum, saying it’s going to be fine, I should be home by lunch.

That didn’t happen.

It started with another mammogram then progressed to an ultrasound, and if they felt I needed a biopsy then that would happen after lunch. They came out and said they would like me to have a biopsy and would I like to go have some lunch and come back? I had lunch, came back, all the while my confidence of everything being ok was slightly waning.

I remember one of my thoughts being, “out of all of us in the call back clinic how many of us would be diagnosed with breast cancer?”

February the 3rd was my results day. Mum also had an appointment with her bowel oncologist and I also had my three grandchildren with me. I was hoping Mum would watch them when I went in to receive my results. I didn’t want her to be upset if I was told I had breast cancer. My time came, Mum came in as Mums want to. The lovely staff at Breast Screen looked after the children while my daughter was on her way over from work, and I was told my results.

I had early stage breast cancer.

Everything just stopped for a second. Then I went into worrying about Mum, telling her to stop, don’t worry, it’s going to be ok.

The doctor explained a few things –  I couldn’t tell you what. She asked if I had any questions, I didn’t.

I was going into being strong for everyone else and I would deal with it later when I was by myself. Everything has happened so quickly, I have now had surgery and am currently waiting to see the Radiation oncologist. All the while, many thoughts are going through my mind; how can I look after myself better, while eating everything in sight, and not stepping on my mat?

I’m a private person and sharing this journey is daunting, but I need to ask for help which I don’t normally do. I just muddle through by myself. This time I need help so I can stay motivated and accountable to nurturing myself and learning from anyone who would like to share their stories, or join me on this adventure .

I have decided to do a forty day challenge, balancing my nutrition with yoga and teaching and family, learning about myself on the way and sharing with you all. Cancer was never part of my plan, but it has shown up so what can I learn from it? I’m lucky that it was caught very early, and I don’t have to have chemo.

Let the journey begin, with love.

Debbie xxx

7 thoughts on ““The C-Word”

  • Ceinwen price

    Deb I commented on the FB post. But want to add that I’m going to join you in your 40 day nourishment challenge too. Go you xxx

  • Jo Wood

    Take care Deb. Amazing what resources are mobilised when we need them – it sounds to me like you’re meeting the challenge head on. Smash out the 40 days, and where you can be kind to yourself.

  • Nigel Beckwith

    Thank you for sharing your story Deb.
    Kudos for you on your challenge, both Yoga-wise and for wellness.
    Be strong. You seem strong (despite what you might think) and you have a loving and supportive family. Only being positive can deliver rewards.
    Drink of the glass half full.

    I wish you all the very best.
    nigelb x

  • Rachel O

    Deb you and your journey are inspiring…….. I wish you all the love and although we have not met yet I will look out for you on the mat and have a hug waiting for you xxxx

  • Bianca Burford

    Dearest Debbie,
    From the moment I met you, I wanted to give you a great big hug. You have always been able to put people around you at ease and make them feel special. You listen and support all you meet. I am honored to have you as a friend and my invitation to help you in any way you need will always be there. Let’s face it, that’s what good friend do. Xx
    Thank you for introducing me to Yin and the healing process of yoga. Xx Proud of you Debbie. Kick cancers butt Xx B

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Last night I had the BEST night sleep I’ve had in months and woke up feeling energised and fresh, rather than stale and tired like I normally do. If that’s how I’m feeling after just one class, I can’t wait to see how I’m feeling after 5, 10, 50 and 100 classes! 
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