Edwina Thompson from Leigh in Manchester has written a unique book about her recent journey through Triple Negative Breast Cancer. In today’s post Edwina tells us all about it in her own words.
My name is Edwina Thompson. I am a Yoga Instructor and I live in Leigh, Manchester. On 6 January 2017, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). As I was the fittest, healthiest and happiest I had ever been in my life, it was a huge shock to those around me that I had cancer. Everyone said I was the least likely to ever be diagnosed! However, having suffered severe depression in my past with an attempted suicide, I naively thought that cancer would be a breeze compared to my past traumas.
In my previous ‘life’, I had been a school teacher and suffered a debilitating breakdown. During my recovery, I found yoga and it completely transformed me in every way it could – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I went on to train as an instructor myself in India and eventually became a full time yoga instructor. Ever since, I’ve always figured that every challenge in my life was given to me as an opportunity to learn, love, grow and evolve. So, newly diagnosed with cancer after 6 years of teaching yoga; I decided to face my new battle head on, and learn as much as I could about life in the process. I had a lumpectomy, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiotherapy, finishing treatment in August 2017.
During treatments, as the side effects began to take hold, I blogged about my journey, which soon morphed into poetry. I had joined a Facebook group called Triple Negative Warriors UK at the beginning of my journey, and regularly shared my poems. The more the ladies loved them, and said they truly described what it feels like to go through cancer, the more I wrote! Since then I have taken all of my blogs, the many poems I wrote, my diary entries and published them all in a book called ‘A Warrior’s Words: A Journey through Triple Negative Breast Cancer.’
I was also lucky enough to meet with some amazing local ladies, and we would regularly meet for coffee to share experiences of TNBC and to support each other. One lady in particular, Julie Ainsworth, became my muse for the poetry and I would often write for her. Sadly, Julie found her cancer had spread and passed away in May of this year. My book is very much in memory of her. There is so much I could say about Julie, but it is best told in the book itself.
I am here now, ‘in remission’, hoping my cancer never rears its ugly head again and getting back into my teaching as well as writing. Life is good! I truly hope if you ever do read my journey, that you enjoy every word. So I will leave you with one of the many poems I wrote for Julie, ‘Hippo Days’, written at a time when she was really struggling with her secondary diagnosis. I wrote it in the hopes she could see those Hippo Days might sometimes be a good thing.
Today I need a Hippo Day,
To wallow, scream and cry.
If I don’t have my Hippo Days,
I think inside I’d die.
My Hippo Days are there to heal,
They help release my pain.
I sink and drown in my own mud,
No sunshine there, just rain.
I scream about how wrong this is,
I’m fighting for my life!
While others sweat their little things,
They’ve no idea of strife.
It always breaks my heart to hear,
The problems we create.
Just why the world can’t get along,
Without this fear and hate.
I really wish that everyone,
For one day could receive,
A chance to see life through my eyes.
For their old self, to grieve.
I’d let them have these Hippo Days,
And have to search for light.
I’d let them wallow in my mud,
And pray for days more bright.
I wonder if then, they would see,
The thing so clear to me.
That life is such a precious gift,
But holds no guarantee.
I need to wallow for today,
And cry my tears dry.
But then I’ll find my fight again,
This life won’t pass me by.
I’ll smell the flowers, dance in rain!
I’ll cherish every smile.
I’ll give my thanks for days like these,
My hope, they last awhile…
And when again my Hippo Days,
Bring tears and hurt to feel.
I’ll even give my thanks to them,
In those, my heart will heal.
Edwina Maria Thompson
Edwina’s book is available to order from Amazon.co.uk here.
Enter the Giveaway
We have one copy of A Warrior’s Words to give away. If you’d like to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below.
The winner will be announced on 12 December here on Happy Magazine. Good luck and don’t forget to check back here for Day 8’s surprise tomorrow!