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Eleven years ago today I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal (bowel) cancer. It was totally unexpected and my world changed completely in a 10 minute conversation.

I’ve been through a lot since then – multiple surgeries and over 180 cycles of chemo, but that’s not my cancer story.

In those 11 years my world has improved in so many ways. My relationships with my friends and family are so much deeper and more fulfilling than at any time prior to diagnosis.

My outlook on life is richer and I’m lucky to get so much fulfilment by helping fellow patients directly and through trying to improve care. I enjoy taking time to smell the flowers (and the coffee and cakes) and I’m at my happiest walking in the woods with my dog and my friends.

7 years ago, when I set up Strive for Five, I wrote the phrase “a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer doesn’t have to be the end of your life, it can be the reason to start living it”, and I believe it now more than ever.

This is not a solo journey, I couldn’t be here without great surgeons, my amazing oncologist and so many fab nurses, and all my lovely friends and family. It’s SO not a solo journey.

I’M STILL HERE, and I’m planning to stick around for some time yet!



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