“Since I was diagnosed with BC, I have achieved a Diploma in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, have changed job and have also advanced in my career.”
I have been diagnosed with BC in 2012, on the eve of turning 33. In 2015, I was diagnosed with ABC in the liver, which was a shock. However, I managed to adapt with the new 'normal' conditioned life.
Treatment-wise I had various different ones - including chemotherapy and hormonal treatment. Treatments have slowed my life, however these have not stopped me from living my life to the full. I have a slogan: “I do my best to do what is in my control but will not lose time on things which are beyond my control”.
Ever since I was diagnosed with BC, I have achieved a Diploma in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, have changed job and have also advanced in my career.
Treatments can wear you down emotionally and physically. You lose your strength and often wonder if it is worth it. That doesn’t mean you quit but pursue with hope, with certainty that you are in good hands. Despite all the challenges, I must admit that, by being allowed to discuss treatment and my life decisions, I feel lucky. We are more than our cancer diagnosis/experience. While I am a breast cancer survivor and that is a primary part of who I am, I am also a daughter, I am an employee, I am a colleague, I am an advocate - I am all of these other things and a human that makes me who I am. Although, like everybody else I have my ups and downs, and although my life is conditioned and at times I feel tired, I do not feel sick. With the support I receive from my parents, my friends, my workmates (including my bosses, present and previous), I try to do my best to be in control of my life. I am lucky to be working at Ernst & Young Ltd (EY) in Malta.
EY has a culture of diversity and inclusion. EY is very practical in its approach and does its best to strengthen the experience of belonging for all. Ever since I have joined EY in November 2014 (I had already been a patient), I have been given the opportunity to learn and improve my career prospects. I have also been given the opportunity to study for an MBA.
Yes, I have achieved a real lot personally, for which I am thankful. As for working hours these are flexible which allow me to attend hospital appointments and rest when required. I adapt accordingly. The culture at EY motivates me to work harder when I am at my best and slow down when I cannot. I understand that my personal experience is not that of others - for whom I feel sorry - as ABC patients are not only their condition but more. Life expectancy is no longer than 3 to 5 years due to many factors, including the improvement in treatment.
Living with ABC is very much an attitude, it is a state of mind. It is how we live and integrate the experience of cancer into our lives holistically and do our best to thrive while doing so.