I thought cancer only happened to people in the movies, like Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember, or the hot Irish guy from P.S I Love You.
So when I got diagnosed with advanced stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 31 it was the shock of my life.
Suddenly I was the lead character in a film I didn’t want to be in, without the cheesy love story.
Side note: Watch Briony's viral video - you only get one life. Post continues below.
After the initial shock wore off, I decided that if I had to do this, I may as well make it as enjoyable as possible. It was never going to be all high fives and jazz kicks, but I was fortunate to get through it and I like the person it’s made me become.
There were many things I learnt along the way that made the whole experience more doable and less crap.
So I wrote a book to compile the most helpful and practical gems. Below are a few mantras and phrases that really helped me in the trickiest times and I hope they help you too!
1. Day by day, step by step, breath by breath.
The one piece of advice I do remember clearly from my specialist after she’d delivered the news that I had cancer was not to get too far ahead of myself.
She suggested that I shouldn’t google Hodgkin’s lymphoma or worry too much about treatment just yet. Instead, we were just going to focus on the next few things we had to do. That was really excellent advice.
She gave me a piece of paper with the next steps written on it.
• blood tests
• heart and lung capacity tests