When I saw him I thought, “My God, this is the man I’m going to marry.” And we did get married. Pregnant as well. There was no proposal, just “Let’s get married” on the spur of the moment. So we booked a trip to Cuba and did it. I’m very impulsive. Looking back I realize he was supposed to be a whirlwind romance, not a lifelong love.
After our daughter was born I had bad postnatal depression. We didn’t have much of a support network, so I worked through it. I started a recruitment company from my dining room table and within six months I had an office and my first employee. My partner reduced his hours and took on more of the responsibilities around the home, so there was a role reversal.
Sadly I lost respect for him. Deep down, I wanted a breadwinner. We grew further apart and psychologically I was preparing to be back on the market. I went on vacation with a girlfriend of mine to get some headspace from it all and when I returned, my husband and I split up.
That’s when I found a lump in my breast. The doctor told me not to worry but to get checked anyway. I almost didn’t go for the appointment because of that. They did a biopsy and when the nurse asked me, “Do you get paid sick leave?” I knew it was cancer. I had just bought the car of my dreams and I was sitting inside it crying, thinking, “What has my life become?”
When I started radiotherapy I worried how it would affect my dating life. Some weeks I’d have 3–4 dates but in the end, nothing materialized. I was so fucked up. I had all the traumas from my marriage and my previous relationships, and a cancer diagnosis on top of that.
The lump and all the lymph nodes were removed and the radiotherapy mopped up any stray cells. I was cured for 2 years.
Now it’s back again, so I’m having a mastectomy. The surgery date was confirmed this morning.
Cancer has forced me to reflect on my life. I’m lucky that my ex and his girlfriend have been supportive. He met her on Tinder when we broke up and we became friends. I’m a strong, independent woman. I’m still gonna do my career thing. I’ve started my own podcast. No time to waste!