In January 2015, following a routine check by my vigilant GP, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

As a Brit living in Sydney, Australia since 2008, I realised over the following days just how many of my friends and family were scattered across the globe and different timezones.

The Fellowship of the Ringlets was originally just a tremendous pun and the title of a closed Facebook group I created to keep those distant friends and family in the loop and worry-free.

But over 12 months, my little group somehow grew from 80 to 800+ and became a veritable band of brothers, a support team like no other and a true Fellowship in every sense of the word.

Their love, laughter and rallying cries have been the greatest tonic a little ringlet'd cancer-face like me could have wished for.

The following letters, musings, incoherent ramblings and occasional bouts of bad language are for them all.

Welcome to the Fellowship of the Ringlets.

VC x

Monday 24 August 2015


Dear Fellowship,

And so, exactly 7 months and 22 days after we began this crazy tale, we finally draw it to a close. Gulp! 
and we are done… :)

Today was the last day (I might have mentioned it once or twice along the way) of my cancer treatment plan that will hopefully mean we have seen the last of Lumpy, Lymphy and their merry band of cancery thieves for good. 
Apparently it was Oprah who once said 'Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down'. 
To be honest, this analogy doesn't really work that well for me because everyone who even vaguely knows me should be aware that I would totally get a cab if my limo broke down but let's roll with this hypothetical scenario for now. Let's imagine a world where there are no cabs, no Uber app and no man-slaves to drive me around. Horrifying. But if that world existed, THEN I would probably be forced to get a bus. If I couldn't cancel the meeting or appointment at the other end obviously. 
I digress. 
What I'm trying to say in simple terms is that I'm so, so glad that each and every one of you is on my metaphorical bus. Even if it is a bus so big it wouldn't actually be able to take a corner at speed without tipping over. 
The video I watched this morning coordinated by my amazing baby sis so beautifully and that so many of you contributed to warmed the cockles of my ginger heart. Once I'd stopped ugly crying (deleeeeete those pics), it reminded me once again how lucky I have been and still am to have my own bigger and better band of merry thieves behind me. 
The Fellowship of the Ringlets was really just an admittedly tremendous title for a Facebook group back in January but over the last 7 months and 22 days, it has become absolutely the finest sort of Fellowship. I'm grateful to every one of you for agreeing to get on the bus, without you really knowing how bumpy the ride, how far the destination or whether there were even toilets on board. (This analogy is getting out of hand.)
I have also been wondering / overthinking over the last few weeks about whether or not I should gracefully bring this Fellowship group and these musings to a close now that treatment is complete or continue to write. 
Today I proudly join an illustrious and impressive group of people who have emerged victorious from their own cancery tales and as I said in my last post, the road ahead now becomes about getting back to 'normal' when my previous normal may realistically no longer exist. 
That, in itself, feels like a pretty rich subject for me to tackle and address over the coming months or maybe it's just an excuse for me to post endless photos of me having a lovely, recuperative time in Ibiza. Ho hum...I shall work through this and let you know smile emoticon
But for now, I shall crack on with the post-cancer part of my life, which today involved clearing out my kitchen drawers in preparation for a myriad of Airbnb'ers over the next 2 months. No time for champagne in Sydney today! 
I wanted to end this post with a simple thank you to all of you for the last 8 months and I found this quote from a trusted source regarding what a fellowship truly means:

"You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin - to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours - closer than you yourself can keep it. 
But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends. 
Anyway, there it is. We are horribly afraid but we are coming with you. Or following you like hounds."
J.R.R Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Rings 

Thank you all for following me like hounds.

VC x
P.s link to the vid below - waaaaaaaaaaaah!!! xxx
Password : cancerbye

Pre-radio coffee with the man-slaves


Breakfast Team

Sunburn Sue
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