Region: UK, Europe
"I looked at it every day, as ‘I’m beating this, you’re not beating me,’ and THAT’S the key."
Sitting with the surgeon when he said it was breast cancer, I thought, ‘OK, I’ve got to deal with it. I’ve got to deal with this for my children. I went fight-mode, not flight-mode. And from then on, that’s what I did. I fought it for my grandchildren, my babies and my husband. With cancer, at first it winds you. It hits you in the belly, but once you get over that winding, you have to beat it. I looked at it every day, as ‘I’m beating this, you’re not beating me,’ and THAT’S the key.
Eventually I started to think, ‘I have to embrace this part of me; I have to ride through it.’ That’s why I wrote the poems. I couldn’t quite verbally express how I was feeling, so I expressed it through writing. That’s what I do. I express everything through my writing. I’ve always sort of written poems and never really bothered with them, but this felt like this is something that I must do.
After cancer, I really started learning more about painting. I started being more creative in my poetry. I always loved swimming and I couldn’t do that whilst going through radiotherapy and I had to wait a few months while everything healed, so creativity was a great alternative.