On 20th June 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer - over the course of nine months I had radical surgery (my choice), a radical 'pixie' haircut, a PICC line (prior to chemo), three cycles of FEC, an allergic reaction to an immune system boosting drug (v. scary), a complete head shave (v. liberating), an additional diagnosis of gallstones (v. low fat diet!) twelve doses of paclitaxel, fifteen sessions of radiotherapy and started on five year's worth of tamoxifen and a concurrent drug trial - it's been quite an experience! On the whole though the positive has outweighed the negative and I've been truly overwhelmed by the support from family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and even total strangers. And the medical team who've cared for me have been absolutely brilliant.


A poet may spend years trying to write
the perfect line of iambic poetry;
turns out my oncologist has the best
'As far as we can tell, you're cancer-free.'

© Samantha Newbury, 20 March 2012