So, here I am, 5 years post-Inflammatory-Breast-Cancer diagnosis and living with the aftermath of treatment. While I’m very happy that I’m in a state known as NED (No Evidence of Disease), the cost of the rigorous treatment needed to survive IBC has left me with numerous side effects, that range from mild to severe every day. Most people say I look great and assume I’m 100% – but what they don’t realise is that like many other cancer survivors, I’m well-versed in hiding the pain and exhaustion of what lies beneath.
There seems to be this notion that after cancer treatment ends, we should all be able to bounce back and pick up where we left off, but the reality is very different for many of us. The physical and mental health issues associated with cancer are long-lasting and widely misunderstood. This is why I have decided to participate in the ‘IBC Scars of Strength’ campaign, laying bare my reality in the hope that it will not only help me continue to heal, but also to advocate for those who may find themselves in a similar reality.