Yvonne Keating – A Reflection on 2022


A Reflection on 2022
My cancer journey started exactly a year ago, December 2021 after a worrying mammogram. This led to ultrasound, biopsies , MRIs and finally a few big ops including a mastectomy and reconstruction. This year has gone by in a blip so much that I still think it is 2021.
It felt at times as if someone had put up s STOP road sign in front of my life. All the questions, while I stood at the STOP sign:
Will I live?
Will I get better, physically, and psychologically?
Will I accept myself?
How will my family and friends react?
Will I be treated differently?
What about my job? Social life? Interests?
Everything stopped in my old world, and I stepped onto the hospital rollercoaster, which can be such a lonely place despite family support.

Looking back now, post surgeries, it probably was more of a yield sign in my life. I was forced to slow down, take stock, maybe make changes, talk to myself more and accept new challenges.

It is strange that while 2022 is forever etched in my head and memory as being utterly bleak and scary there were some positives that have emerged.
-the absolute support of my husband and son
-the kindness and thoughtfulness of friends and colleagues
-the realization of who exactly had your back and checked in on you and who didn’t

I also made two excellent decisions this year:
I joined a dragon boat racing club, the Plurabelle Paddlers and I enrolled for this course.

What do I take away from these last few weeks?
-That I can and should self-manage how I proceed with my life.
-I have been made aware of the valuable toolkit I can dip into that will help me with my new challenges especially when I go back to work.
-I am more conscious of taking charge of my health through exercise, good nutrition and sleep hygiene.
-Finally, the opportunity to meet this amazing group of ladies who are on their on their own road and face their own daily battles with amazing courage. I am in awe of them all.

We are all ordinary ladies but extraordinary in our resolve to Thrive, Survive and Stay alive.