© 2017 by Jo Chapman. All rights reserved.

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At 42, my life was pretty much 'perfect'. Happily married and mother to my wonderful 5 year old daughter.

 

I had been running my own successful management consultancy for 6 years, fitting in work around my daughter and her education and was Chairing the Board of Governors at her school. I was never the type of person that could just sit and do nothing. I was always active and got involved. 

Both my husband and I had a strong work ethic, we worked hard and got rewarded for our efforts. We personally built our beautiful home in the Oxfordshire countryside, spending every evening after work, every weekend and 'holiday' for four years, building our family home ready for the arrival of our daughter. 

I have always been fit and healthy. Arguably I could eat more fruit, but I love veg and salad; and before the arrival of my daughter, I did like the odd glass of wine, but since my student days rarely to excess, and I certainly never smoked. 

There was also no history of breast cancer in my family. I had found lumps before, as did my Mother and her Mother, but they were always just benign lumps and nothing to worry about. Though unfortunately in my Nanny's case, they didn't realise this until they gave her a mastectomy in the 1950's. Thankfully, medicine has moved on somewhat.  

So, this was as my life was, what changed post diagnosis and then treatment? In all honesty, not a lot. I was determined for cancer not to control my life. I am strong willed and stubborn, there was no way I was going to let it win. I have continued to work from when I was diagnosed in April 2017 to this. At the time I was acting as a part time Interim MD at a video agency and really enjoying it. Why should I stop? In fact, working gave me something else to focus on and not dwell on breast cancer. I had one day where I had to work from home as I felt pretty rough 4 days post my fourth round of treatment, but other than that I was in the office 3 days a week. 

Having a five year old daughter also puts things in perspective. I couldn't let her see that I was tired or ill. She knew I had a 'poorly boob' and being the very caring child she is, she often donned the nurses outfit and wrapped me in bandages to make my 'boob better'.

So life didn't change dramatically for me. I put the whole thing down to experience. I often wondered how I would deal with something like this and now I know - I just get on and kick it into touch, which is pretty much how I deal with everything in life. You are dealt the cards you are dealt, you can't change it; what matters is how you deal with it. Take control. and show it who is boss.

I hope my stories help inspire you to be brave and be bold, or even bald! 

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