Eliza B

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Introduction In late autumn 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and thrown into the whirlwind of treatment. I went in as someone who hadn't seen her GP in over 10 years and emerged with hospital numbers for 3 hospitals, a permanent stack of appointment letters and on long-term medication. I am now picking up my life again, but it isn't the same. The literature talks about finding your "new normal" rather than getting back to normal, and this certainly resonates with my experience - the fears and uncertainties; the renewed sense of life and opportunities; the friends gained and lost. Sometimes it feels that the diagnosis was yesterday, at others it seems a whole lifetime away. I turned to a survival technique that has worked for me in the past - journaling. For most of that time it was important that what I wrote was private but as I move forward I feel I want to share my thoughts and experiences. Then in June 2017 I was diagnosed with a new contralateral breast cancer with a completely different pathology and was thrown back into treatment ring. This is an ongoing account of life in the Land of New Normal.