On April 11th last year, my doctor delivered the news. Just two weeks prior, I had gone for a mammogram, and a week before that, I had a biopsy. It was confirmed on a Monday morning – I had cancer. Now, a year later, I find myself feeling incredibly grateful. Despite the rough ride, there’s a sense of happiness bubbling beneath the surface, and I believe it’s for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’m done with my surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. A tremendous relief. The treatments were daunting and challenging, but they done!

Secondly, my hair is growing back. Curly and all different directions – I’m even starting to find my short boy’s cut kind of cute on some days.

Thirdly, I’m able to train again. Although I am surely not be as fast as I was in 2019/2020, I’m grateful to be active and training, especially compared to the days when I was undergoing chemo and lacked the energy to train. And….I’m preparing to run the Oceans Half marathon again! My last Two Oceans Half marathon was in 2019, and I’m looking forward to earning my permanent blue number, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 and 2021, and my injury-related rehab in 2022.

And another reason might be that Finally, I’ve made peace with the miscarriage Tony and I experienced in 2021. Accepting the miscarriage was tougher for me than accepting the cancer for various reasons. I had always wanted to share the experience of raising a child with someone who lived in the same home as me. My minions are my entire world and still there was always a sense of something missing – not being able to share their milestones with someone significant in our lives, in the same house.

My family was always around and supportive, yet there were times when I closed the doors at night and it felt lonely.

When Tony and I found out about our little “chicken wing,” as we called her, we were overjoyed. Losing her was devastating, but now, almost two years later, I am finally at peace with it in a way I cannot fully explain. She will always be in my heart even though she never arrived in my arms. And it finally feels ok. I don’t feel guilty or sad that I will continue my life without her. That I will enjoy my life without her physically being with me. It’s enough that I got to spend those ten weeks carrying her in my body. And I feel immensely grateful for that, and the joy of being alive.

My eldest son Josh is thriving, now in his third year at film school, and my youngest child, Micaiah, is pursuing her passion as a first-year fine art student at Michaelis (UCT). My family, parents, siblings and in-laws are doing well, and my nephew Bailey brings so much joy into my life. Work is also keeping me busy, as I’m learning a lot in my new role, despite the challenges and frustrations. With ChatGPT on the scene, life feels exciting – there’s so much research to be done.

Life just feels right, and it doesn’t feel as difficult right now. It’s all cyclical, I know. But now is the only time that ever really matters. And now I am truly grateful. Maybe it’s because I’ve survived cancer, or maybe it’s something else. Possibly acceptance is the key to happiness? By that I mean accepting whatever one’s circumstances are at that particular moment? Whatever the reason, I’m not overly bothered to figure it out. It’s just so darn lekker to be high on life. So, here’s to my first Cancerversary – a celebration of life and gratitude 🥂🍾

PS…. before I go, here are some pictures from our family Easter – lunch at my Boetie’s place and a Paw Patrol themed Easter Egg hunt all centered around my nephew Bailey. What fun, what immense fun.

Mighty Ryder saves Easter