Nothing can prepare you for cancer.
But I’m really happy to say I got through it all.
A Scottish woman, who has spent the past 6 years living in Dubai, takes us through her battle with cancer. Revealing how the doctors and nurses at Mediclinic City Hospital’s Breast Centre helped her through her challenging journey.
I must have cried for about two weeks after my diagnosis. Logically, I knew I could handle this, that would beat it, but my emotions were just overwhelming.
It was a turning point for me. I work in HR and my job usually involves me taking care of everyone else and now, suddenly, I was reliant on others to take care of me.
I realised I was going to need to be selfish, to put myself first, in order to recover.
Learning the rules
Being diagnosed with cancer is like joining this club to play a game, but you don’t know any of the rules. Thankfully the doctors and nurses at Mediclinic, the team of people working to help get me through this, were there to guide me and offer support every step of the way.
My Breast Cancer Nurse, was so present, always there to offer support. She would regularly message to check in on me and provided me with an extra level of care throughout my treatment.
Another one of my doctors, Dr Mordani, took time to make sure all the steps of my surgery and chemotherapy were clearly explained to me, so I understood the plan and what was happening as we began my treatment.
I remember how after my surgery he visited, making me my first cuppa after my operation. I’m not sure if it was the relief or his kindness, but I can honestly say this was one of the nicest cups of tea I have ever had.
The friends you make
Visiting the Breast Care Centre felt like going to the mall at times - yes you were going there to do something that was hard, but you’d have your friends around you and you’d always bump into people you knew.
During my treatment, I was lucky to have several friends who would come with me to my chemo sessions, distracting me or giving me the additional emotional support, that in those moments, I needed more than ever.
But come December, most of my friends were away, they had gone home to visit their families and I no longer had that support.
I didn’t have anyone during my second round of chemo. It got really bad so I asked one of the Angels to come around and help out.
I would say she basically rescued me when I was at my lowest point. It’s the kindness and thoughtfulness of others that really surprises you.
I had met some of the women from the Angels Initiative during my treatments. One of them had given me her number saying that if I ever needed anything I shouldn’t hesitate to reach out - and she’s the one I called.
She really did save me. She called me every day. She came to my home, sat and listened to me talk. She got me eating again. Her help and friendship was invaluable.
On one of her visits, she gifted me a book called ‘The Zen of Cancer’.
The book encourages you to find a way to stop thinking so much, to stop obsessing about your condition, by keeping your hands busy. So I learnt how to crochet.
It helped, but what helped more was when I connected with a community of women raising funds through crocheting, for those with breast cancer but can’t afford their treatment.
I was surrounded by a supportive group of people, who had experienced what I was going through, and it felt almost like counselling. What’s more, I felt more like myself.
I was helping others again, yes it was helping me too but in doing so, my contribution was paying it forward.
Now I’m back on my feet and, for now, I’m cancer-free. But I’m still working with the charity, and I’m still able to use my experience and my hobby to help others.
I’m proud of where I am now, of what I’ve managed to overcome, but I never would have gotten here without the loving care and kindness of my team, my friends at the Mediclinic City Hospital’s Breast Centre.