Meeting a new chapter with positive expectancy

Trigger warning: Advanced breast cancer

Hi everyone. Holly here. This is the post I had hoped I’d never have to write. Some of you already know, or maybe you have even guessed, with the silence here over the past week.

During the last two months I’ve been experiencing some symptoms and these eventually brought me back to my oncology team in the last few weeks. We’ve done some scans and have discovered that the triple negative breast cancer I originally had is back, this time in my liver and lung. My oncology team have been extremely swift and helpful and I am very grateful. I’ll be starting chemo again today.

This has come as a huge shock to me and my family, especially as I had been feeling very well and positive up until the new symptoms started. (For those of you who are wondering, as I always do when I read something like this, the new symptoms were, nonspecific abdominal pain, and pain in my side/back when lying down.)

We are where we are and now the only way is forward.

So, I am meeting this new chapter with enthusiasm and positive expectancy. I have started eating even better, looking after my body with some extra helpful supplements, continuing to get enough sleep, continuing light exercise every day, and ramping up on my relaxation, meditation and positive visualisation.

I am looking forward to starting chemo again, and seeing chemo work again for me. I am looking forward to supporting my body and mind through every step of this, in every way that I can.

So, let’s be positive together?

If you will, join me on this journey. Help me stay strong and filled with positive expectancy. I’ve beaten this cancer into submission once before and I will do it again.

Happy Magazine

Creating and growing Happy Magazine has been an incredible source of positivity and strength to me and I have no doubt it will continue to be. Going forward I will be posting new content as and when I have it and hope you will all continue to come and see what’s new here.

The September print issue of Happy Magazine is well underway, with a full complement of advertisers, helpful articles and inspirational content. It is likely now that it will be delayed, but I have every intention of completing it and getting it out across the country as soon as I can. Please bear with me. Please also accept my apologies if you have sent me a correspondence recently which I have not yet replied to.

For all my fellow triple negative and breast cancer warriors: Please don’t let my re-diagnosis shake your confidence in your own journey. Remember, no two cancers are the same and no two journeys are the same. Stay strong. Climb your own mountain. Take care of yourself, body, mind and spirit and trust that all will be well.

My core advice remains the same: If you notice any new changes/symptoms in your body, call your oncology team and get seen to, as soon as you can. Be persistent if you need to be. But don’t let the fear of cancer rule your life. Life is too precious to waste any time – enjoy the moment, enjoy what is good about today and keep moving forward.

Currently my family and I are all adjusting to our new normal and preparing for my first chemo, but I’ll be back soon! Please stay positive.



  1. Mary mackey
    4 September, 2019 / 11:53 am

    Good luck holly was diagnosed in 2oo2. Had calcification two years ago. Waitung for mammogram in November

    • Helen McCarthy
      6 September, 2019 / 11:07 am

      So positive Holly wishing you well from a fellow TNBC buddy. 👚

  2. Laura Armada-Buch
    4 September, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    wishing a super positive journey towards recovery xx

  3. Neil Mills
    4 September, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    Thinking of you Holly and send. Blessings from RSA. Great friend of Laxon. a

  4. Anne Roche
    4 September, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    Holly you have a fantastic attitude to embracing this new chapter and I know you will move through this stage with positivity and determination. We’re all with you 100% so please know you are supported and loved. 😊

  5. Geraldine Cahill
    4 September, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Well done Holly on being aware of your symptoms and getting seen so fast. What a bitch of a disease. It’s the sneakiness of it. Well you are on the right road to beating the crap out of it again. Thanks for sharing Holly, it can’t have been easy. It’s all of our fear each check up. You can’t get complacent. Holly I am on team Holly all the way. Love, hugs and 😘

  6. Carmel O'Sullivan
    4 September, 2019 / 5:49 pm

    Wishing you all the very best Holly…you are an inspiration to all of us…stay positive…keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Carmel x

  7. Niamh Uí Chadhla
    4 September, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    Dear Holly, Sending you love, positivity and strength and support. Xxxx

    • Margaret
      6 September, 2019 / 7:52 pm

      Sending you lots of love and light and energy dear Holly, you are amazing and so positive xxx

  8. Brenton Mills
    4 September, 2019 / 6:35 pm

    Wishing you all the best for this fight I know you can do it with your positive energy

  9. Emma
    4 September, 2019 / 10:32 pm

    Thinking about you and sending you strength and courage to take on this fight again. I am finishing my radiotherapy treatment for triple negative breast cancer and I can imagine the range of emotions you and your family are going through.
    Your positivity will win❤️❤️

  10. Dolores Osullivan
    5 September, 2019 / 6:30 am

    The very best of luck Holly will be thinking of you and your family on your new journey..stay strong..sending lots of hugs your way xxx

  11. Lizzy
    5 September, 2019 / 6:52 am

    As you enter this new phase, Holly, may you be blessed with the comfort, hope, and inspiration you have brought to all of us through your magazine. You are a wonderful person, and I wish you all that is good in the days ahead.

  12. Cunningham Anita
    5 September, 2019 / 7:25 am

    Hi Holly, I’m so sorry that you and your family have to deal with this, wishing you lots of strength and support, xx Anita

  13. Miriam Rainsford
    5 September, 2019 / 8:10 am

    Holly, I’ve never contacted you before, but reading this email has touched me so much. I am so sorry that you have to go through this journey again. I will be thinking of you today as you start chemo.(I will be getting my 4th AC on Friday). I’m sending you love and strength. I guess we all have no choice but to ‘trust in the process of life.’ I think you’re fantastic💖. Love, Miriam.

  14. Ruth
    5 September, 2019 / 8:21 am

    I’m very sad to hear your cancer has returned. You’ve beat cancer into submission before and I’ve every confidence that you will again. Warrior Woman!! And this Warrior is with you in sending you positivity, even if it is virtual……

  15. Sarah
    5 September, 2019 / 8:37 am

    Hi Holly, I’m sorry about your diagnosis & thank you for sharing it with us. The doctors have obviously caught it early & you will be looked after well, keep up that fighting spirit & positivity & keep us posted on how it’s all going. I wish you well.
    Sarah, Breast cancer survivor💕

  16. marie wallis
    5 September, 2019 / 8:42 am

    Brilliant article from a fellow triple negative sufferer. I try to stay strong but some days anxiety takes over. That’s why I need positive people like you. Holly you are amazing. Marie. Xx

    • Aine keane
      7 September, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Dear holly , I read your post a few days ago , and still reeling from it , you truly are inspirational, stay focused keep your eye on the prize and you will ride this shitstorm ( sorry for bad language but sometimes it’s necessary) kind regards Aine x

  17. Nuala King
    5 September, 2019 / 9:05 am

    Dear Holly,
    You’re an inspiration to us all. Thank you.

    God bless and keep you and give you healing. All will, indeed, be well.

    Nuala King.

  18. Claire Higgins
    5 September, 2019 / 1:24 pm

    Dear Holly thinking of you and your family . Wonderfully written article. Love your magazine.

  19. Marie Cannon
    5 September, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I wish you success in your treatment and I thank you for continuing to give to hope to other women during this difficult time x

  20. 5 September, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    Hi Holly,

    so sorry to hear your news. Sending you lots of love and light. Im thinking of you and your family, you are amazing. God bless you.

    Annette Burke

  21. Emer Vennard
    5 September, 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Sending you love, light and prayers. You got this xxx

  22. Orla Dowling
    5 September, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    Hi Holly
    So sorry to hear of your diagnosis I’ve recently had my second diagnosis and your positivity got me through my first journey. Stay strong your an amazing girl and I will share my story with your happy readers one day soon when I get it all together sending you lots of love take care 💕

  23. Sonya
    5 September, 2019 / 9:58 pm

    Best wishes Hollie. You can definitely fight this with your positive attitude. 🙏

    • Ann Marie McGuire
      15 November, 2019 / 7:46 pm

      Holly , l was shocked and rocked to hear your news, you and your posts got me through my chemo for bowel cancer . You are a truly inspirational person and l have no doubt you will get through this setback. Wishing you and your family all the best

  24. Angel Muundjua
    5 September, 2019 / 10:26 pm

    The best of luck to you Holly. Your positivity is a great inspiration for others. Sending lots of love and healing 💞 Angel x

  25. 6 September, 2019 / 3:39 am

    Rooting from West Cork for you girl.
    You have done this before.
    Lots of love

  26. Roisin
    6 September, 2019 / 11:17 am

    Dear Holly,
    Your positivity is truly an inspiration to everyone, sending you much love and support for the journey ahead
    West Wicklow Cancer Support

  27. Romy Briem
    6 September, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    I’m shocked Holly but full of optimism for you. You have so much knowledge within you and a very positive attitude
    I’m wrapping you on my arms and sending a big hug.
    Love Romy x

  28. Mary Carragher
    6 September, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    wish you the very best with this new ” fight”… you have a great positive attitude and inner strength……stay strong and believe!!

  29. Patricia Reilly
    6 September, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    Thinking of you very specially Holly and will do so every day. You are an amazing person and have brought such joy and hope to so many of us. Thank you. Stay strong and positive. Patricia

  30. 7 September, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    I am so sorry you have to go through this again Holly but I have no doubt your drive and positive mental attitude will lead you on the path to recovery once again. Sending you lots of hugs and positive vibes xx

  31. Jean Beamish
    7 September, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Stay strong Holly. You help more people than you will ever know. Cancer touches everyone at some point in their lives, and we all need to work together to give each other strength.

  32. 15 September, 2019 / 7:53 pm

    You can do it Holly, you know what you need to do and you have all the resources within you 🙌💞

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