We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game. On Oct. 6, 2017 at age 31, I, Marte, (from Norway) was diagnosed with invasive duct carcinoma (breast cancer), grade 3 which is very aggressive but stage 1 as I found it really early. Please before you continue reading, just touch your boobs ... and again.... and again!! Thanks. Remind your friends, again and again!!!! Early detection is key!
I am not a person that listens to my body, I always just say "I'll be fine." I was lucky enough to meet a cowboy at the Broome races, chopper pilot actually, and he was the one who noticed the lump - he likes to be recognised as a life saver - and so he should.
I was living in the remote Kimberley, North West in Australia where it's very limited with health care. I was quickly sent to Perth then transferred to Melbourne on my request. I don’t know many people in Perth and knew I would depend on a good support crew. My world was changing in a heart beat -- from the red dust in the Kimberley to the big smoke.
Cancer is a nasty thing. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I secretly said once (about a person that was not nice), "Jeez, I hope she gets cancer." I take that back!!!! I have cancer, it sucks and I don’t want anybody to go through this piece of shit.
All I knew was that I had to look on the bright side, every single day. The planning started: Before surgery dinner, after surgery breakfast, before chemo parties, chemo day parties and after chemo parties. Celebrations for every little thing that was going on -- good or bad -- because at least I was going forward. The celebration for my 30th ulcer in my mouth was probably a bit overkill, but hey, who cares?
I learned the cancer gave me free cupcakes and coffee at the cafe, friends making 1,000 paper crane to save my life, friends making F*CK CANCER T-shirts to wear at a festival, work being absolute troopers and in general enormous support from Norway and here in Australia. I have realised what great family and friends I have; I probably took it for granted before this all happened. And they taught me to use the cancer for what it is worth -- I can't count how many times I have said, "No drama - I'll pull the cancer card."
There is no doubt that I am beating cancer with extreme positivity and laughter. I am worried that if I lie down and feel sorry for myself I will end up there and stay. And for the first time in my life I cannot control what is going on and that is what gets to me on my bad days.
I am 31, single and had to make decisions about harvesting eggs and what treatment to get. I should be out there hunting for the man of my life instead I am attending hospital appointments and chemo sessions. It's like my life is on hold and I can’t control it.
BTW, any nice fellows out there, feel free to contact me! I'll finish treatment in November.
My mum and sister came from Norway to celebrate Christmas and I think they were shocked the first few days about how we talked about the cancer. I would do something wrong, and my housemate would look at my mum and just say: "Don’t worry about it, she’s dying - we don’t tell her off" - then laugh out loud. My mum was standing there, stunned. But after a week they were both in on the jokes, probably darker jokes then my friends' jokes and it was great.
I’m here for the long run. The cancer picked the wrong girl to fight, no doubt about it. Don't get me wrong, having cancer sucks. But on the bright side I am learning lots and appreciate everything a lot more.
Live while you can, and please be kind always.
You never know when you will meet people again. That lovely lady you helped at the car park can become your doctor so be nice!!
You can also suddenly get cancer and then you need all the family and friends you can gather. It sure makes it easier to fight this shit with a great support crew.
If you have someone with cancer -- laugh a lot, sing out loud and just be there!
Peace out and fuck cancer!!!!!!