Where to begin? I suppose the idea of doing a blog has arisen out of a need or desire to have my voice heard. Since being diagnosed with cancer – for the second time – I have often felt that I have lost my place in a society that relies heavily upon ‘status’ to identify oneself. Indeed I have pondered for a long time on the sensation of loss. For a while I have thought about things from the perspective of ‘losing’, but have I really lost anything? In many ways I’ve gained a lot through having cancer: a greater perspective of myself, the appreciation of friends and family, the ability to concentrate on the present and the recognition of hither-to unknown reserves of inner strength. This blog is likely to jump around time wise and may be of interest to no-one, nevertheless it is ‘out there’ – a bit like me!

So I’ll start a little story which goes like this…once upon a time there was a girl called Alison. She was fed up with London life (sorry Mr Johnson) and, on a whim, decided to shake things up with a little study trip to Italy. Her adventures took her to the south and a city called Salerno. A good time was had and she decided to try and forge a new life abroad. To this end she enrolled in a TEFL course and got a job teaching in Sicily.

All was going well (well, not really: bad pay, l-o-o-o-n-g hours, an inclement winter) when, one evening whilst watching a film, she discovered a lump on her breast……

Free fall.

Feeling sick.

Knees buckling.

Feeling faint.


The big C.

Jump to the almost present. A barrage of tests late 2009 led to ‘results day’ in January 2010. Strangely I can’t remember the exact date. I remember being called into the consultant’s room. I remember thinking that it was ‘nothing’. And then she told me.

Oh no.

And then everything changed.

Oh no.

And then I had to call in my ex from the waiting room.

Oh no.

And then I had to translate the news into Italian.

Oh no.

And then I had to call my sister.

Oh no.

And then I sat in the hospital pharmacy with a prescription list for various pain killers and sedatives. And then I looked at the people around me and I saw how everyone was carrying on with their lives. How nobody had noticed. How everything and yet nothing had changed. And that the world had only stopped for me.


10 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. We all like to think that out of bad comes some good (hard to swallow some times, I know) but lordy Miss L, you’re a great writer!! Not only are you giving yourself the opportunity to say what you want, you are giving us an ‘in’ to talk about it. See you next week for Marshgate. Luv, L

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