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The day my life stopped... and began..

Grandparents and children sharing tips and stories

From Bree O’Brien

They say 'what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger'..

Well I can cheerfully say I would love to know if the person who coined that had cancer!

My name is Bree. I am a cancer survivor.

I am 26 (27 this yr .. 28 next yr ..)

I am daughter to my mum Eileen. She died from breast cancer after a 7 yr battle in 2003. I thought it would be the worst thing I would ever feel .. the loss and grief which chokes you and leaves you feeling like you can’t breathe.

Then I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

I am still my mum’s daughter and will always be in my heart but I now am a mother too. Working the minefield of telling a 5 yr old why you cant take her to the park on a sunny day (getting out of bed is an achievement) or why you can’t see her for 10 days (isolation for radiation therapy) is not an easy thing but looking at her and being shattered by the thought that while I had been crying on my engagement 6 months ago that my beloved mum wouldn’t see me walk down the aisle, now I was facing the grief that I may not make it to my girl’s wedding.

And that is why cancer research is so bloody important.

A diagnosis never just affects the patient. It ripples through families and the people whom you love and who love you. I've been on both sides .. I've lost the person I loved most in the world .. my soft place to fall.. and I figured I had a chance of being on the other side but not at 26 right ??

Well here I am .. currently fighting the fight to live on my terms. I will die surrounded by the children I still want to have and the grandchildren I hope to yet meet . Maybe this won't be my path but its the path I want and while cancer doesn’t normally negotiate .. neither do I !

Everyone’s stories made me cry and laugh and rejoice on this site but Neil (how to annoy your cancer) ....if you read this mate .. be as annoyed as you want by the compliment :) But there is an Irish chick who laughed at your Scottish stubbornness and cried a bit too .. thanks for making me realise why I’m lucky ..

Finally .. ..mine is only one journey but every day now is mine .. it’s cancer research that means my daughter and her generation may have a chance to never feel the fear we have felt ..

Surely that is priceless..

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Updated: 28 September 2009