This week I want to take an opportunity to thank you all for your support. The readership of my blog has grown steadily this year, and I’m proud to say I have published a blog every week since March, with the exception of only one week last month when my new branding was being prepared.
What most of you don’t know is that this year threw a major challenge my way. On 27 May I found a lump in my breast. One week later I became one of the 42 people every day* who hear the words “you have breast cancer”.
That day at the beginning of June my world stopped. To say I was shocked is an understatement. “You’re a tank, Fiona – stronger than anyone I know” my partner said to me the day I went to get the lump checked by my doctor. “Even tanks break down”, was my response.
And break down I did. Two lots of surgery, followed by 21 weeks of chemotherapy were nothing compared to the utter emotional devastation I felt following my diagnosis.
For 6 weeks I couldn’t speak to anyone other than a few people close to me without breaking down completely. So I hid myself away in my room.
And I wrote.
I wrote my weekly blogs – they literally flowed out of me, straight from the heart – and you responded. Very few, if any, of you knew what was inspiring the posts, but many of you wrote back to tell me how they had touched a nerve or stirred a feeling.
Writing kept me connected to what I love best – informing, inspiring and instigating change in people – and it also kept me sane. Focusing on something and someone else was better than the alternative of sitting at home constantly wondering “what if…”
Now here I am 6 months on. Scarred, bald, tired and still a little emotional at times – but not broken. Most definitely not broken. All things considered I am in amazingly good health, have been back at work full-time for a couple of months (and I’m busier than ever before), and I’m ready to start 2015 fresh and willing to tackle whatever life throws at me.
A fresh chapter
Here’s what I want you to know as we all move into a new year, and a new chapter in our lives.
You are stronger than you know.
You are loved more than you can ever imagine, if you allow it.
You are resilient and have the ability to bounce back from whatever life throws at you.
You need to commit to doing what you love, because it will sustain you even in the darkest times.
You are an inspiration to many around you, even if you don’t know it.
You can get through whatever life has in store for you.
You will find a way.
You can do this.
So, THANK YOU: firstly to my clients, who were unbelievably supportive and understanding of my situation. We picked each other for a reason, and that became self-evident in June.
And secondly, to all of you who read this blog every week: thank you for inspiring me to keep going even on the toughest days, and to be the best possible version of myself every day – you may never know just how much you helped me.
Wishing you good health, love and happiness, always.
PS I’m taking a few weeks off with my family and getting my son ready to start school (so excited for him). I’ll be back on board mid-January and will be running a fresh webinar to get you kick-started for the year. You can click here to register.
PPS I also wrote a personal blog during my experience, to help me cope emotionally. If you, or anyone you know, is going through breast cancer, you might find it helpful. You can read it by clicking here.
*Statistic from Breast Cancer Network Australia
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