I didn't even know what an oncologist was, those who know me well will laugh at this because it is so true, so that's how far from my mind having cancer was for me.

I felt a lump in my left breast which I went to my local GP to have checked, she told me that it was just a cyst and nothing to worry about. I had a new born baby girl and two toddlers so I was tired and just went along with the doctors words and did nothing about it.

Six months passed and this lump was bothering me and it was quite noticeable by now so I went back to a different GP and asked for them to investigate further! Scans were taken and more and more talk about blocked milk ducts and that it was nothing to worry about but by this stage I really needed further answers and thankfully my OB/GYN was just up from where may scans were done so I popped in to have a chat with him, it was from there that he referred me to a breast surgeon which is where I was diagnosed with breast cancer!

At the time my babies were 6 months, 2 years and 4 years old. It was such a whirlwind of a week, I had a biopsy Thursday told I had cancer Friday was told I had 48 hours to wean my daughter from breast fed to bottle fed I went into surgery the following Tuesday for port to be put in and started Chemotherapy Thursday and now breathe!

I must say with all that was going on having to stop breastfeeding my daughter was so extremely difficult and I was so blessed to have the support of a beautiful midwife. I called her Saturday morning and she came to spend the day, put a plan in place and put my mind at ease. I still remember giving my little girl a bottle for the first time and the tears knowing I wouldn't be able to breast feed her again it was so emotional and so overwhelming, it is still difficult to talk about even today. I think I cried more about this than the cancer diagnosis at the time.

In total I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy one was on my 35th birthday, 30 rounds of radiation and surgery in between. During my chemo and radiation I met the most amazing women, I always say how blessed I was to go through this cancer journey with these girls we called ourselves the awesome foursome and would take champagne and balloons and party at the chemo clinic to celebrate each milestone. I would wear crazy pants every Friday we called it happy pants Friday to celebrate another week done, we actually got kicked out once but we wouldn't of had it any other way!

Navigating life after cancer and finding a new normal is overwhelming at times, you learn in time to control your fear, your anxiety and panic. You are not the same person you were before all of this is and you see life from a whole new perspective. I wake up every morning and so thankful to be alive, I say thank you for blessing me with another beautiful day! This doesn't mean I am happy all the time, I certainly do have my challenging times but I am more aware now and take a step back and look the big picture.

I think it is so important to find a blessing in every situation no matter how challenging, even if you find just one small positive moment from it and focus on that to allow more positivity to flow into your life.

Being a co-founder of Soul Sisters Unite makes me so proud, from our cancer diagnosis and our experience we are creating something beautiful to support others.

All my friends navigating cancer big hugs to you and to the ones I am yet to meet sending love and courage.

Mel xox

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