Friday, 25 March 2016

The one where I give up the booze.....

I've been sober for nearly 3 months and as someone who has spent several years developing a very strong relationship with Rioja I can safely say that life without it is surprisingly fulfilling. As you can see, the barnet is making a brave comeback and I am gradually shifting the steroid pounds with the help of Strava and an unforgiving alarm clock.

What most cancer survivors will tell you, particularly ones that have 'survived' breast cancer is that you are never really in the clear. You live your life with the constant reminder that your cancer could return at any point and you are only considered clear of the disease when it hasn't made a reappearance within five years. When you've had a mastectomy it's difficult to check for reoccurring lumps so the likelihood is that any reoccurrence would take place in the lungs, liver, brain or bones - needless to say, pretty damn difficult to find. 

I'm quite a pragmatic person so decided to shift my attention from worry to action and started to research the things that I could do in order to maximise my chances of survival. My tumour was classed as ER+/PR+/HER2- (oestrogen receptive, progesterone receptive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative) which, luckily for me, has the highest survival rate. The ER+ can be treated with Tamoxifen but I have recently discovered that lifestyle choices can undo or reverse the benefits of the drugs. It turns out that by consuming alcohol when these tumour cells are touring your body is bad news as it stops your liver from breaking down the excess oestrogen and that helps to feed the tumour cells to the point where they divide, become uncontrollable and ultimatley end my life. Frankly that's a risk I'm not willing to take hence my uncharactericsic sobriety. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to preach, this is my personal lifestyle choice but let's face it, if you were in my position and had to choose between having a drink or watching your children grow up, which would you choose?

It's not long until our Tough Mudder challenge and there is still time to sponsor the "M&S Magnificent Seven" as we take on the toughest assault course in the UK.... all in aid of Breast Cancer Now.

Thank you xx