This time last year, I was wallowing in a pit of Docetaxel and struggling to see any way out. My hair was gone, my nails were starting to fall off and the throbbing pain in my skull and joints was almost unbearable. Although I felt sick all of the time, the steroids made me ravenous between the bouts of nausea so I managed to pile on an additional 2 stone thanks to Quavers and Lucozade (the only things I could stomach).
Fast forward to today and life could not be more different. I found myself complaining this morning about the price of haircuts and waxing before a much-needed reality check. Although I may consider the fight to be over, there is plenty that reminds me of cancer every day and I'm starting to realise that I am in some sort of weird denial.
This was compounded further by a recent visit to Inverness where Sheonagh and her team made such a fuss of me and the campaign that I had absolutely no idea how to react. While the drugs may have flushed out of my system and the radiation burns have all but disappeared, I sometimes forget that by putting my story into the public domain I can't switch off what has happened. While I admit that it makes me uncomfortable to be reminded of the events of the past year, I need to remember that a story of survival gives people hope and that goes beyond my own selfish story.
I continue to be astonished by the kindness that people show and the efforts that they go to in order to support the campaign. There have been some incredible breakthroughs in the areas of research and this is, to a large extent. down to the amazing work done by the fantastic team at Breast Cancer Now who manage to give hope to so many more families thanks to the money raised by so many M&S stores and other tireless fundraisers who live in hope of a cure.
I also want to give a special shout-out to the Las Vegas Institute of Sport. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to have my name plastered over the bottoms of so many men or to be able to design my own cancer-kicking cycling kit (which is now in its second production run!) The encouragement that you all continue to shout to me as you post your international exploits all over the interweb is the most awesome thing of all.