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

Wednesday 4 January 2017


Dear Fellowship,

"No change". Words you may not want to hear from a grumpy cab driver at 3am but definitely words to be grateful for following my second annual mammogram this arvo. Phew. :):)
New country, new specialists, whole new supply of ears to bend and minds to numb with dull cancer chat but pleased to confirm that the familiar buzz of the old boob-crushing machine remains the same, as does the British awkwardness of being manhandled boob-first into a fancy sandwich press by a total stranger. Good times. 
So all is well and I press on into another year 'cancer-freeeeee' (fingers crossed, touchwood etc etc) - happily, one year further away from the whole cancer shmozzle and sadly, less able by the day to legitimately refuse to do press-ups or rowing at the gym because "I've had cancer and a bad arm". Damn. 
The good news is that I've invested in a desk, got a desk lamp from my sister for Christmas, have gone crazy for coloured Post-Its and am constantly wearing a scarf that weighs more than I do so I'm pretty much killing it on the whole student front. To be honest, if I had a shiny Canon Starwriter on my desk instead of a Mac, I'd swear it was 1995 all over again.

As it is, I've just finished my first 3,000 word assignment since 1995 (it's on black comedy - seemed appropriate) and now only have a short play to polish, a TV pitch to write and three scenes to re-hash in the next ten days. Good Lord. Cue hysterical teenage tears followed by long, calming, procrastination-friendly dog walks...

So on that note, I must be off to stare blank-faced once more at my weary laptop whilst absent-mindedly chomping my way through an entire festive tin of Quality Street. It's always Christmas in VC's house when Tesco has those bad boys on special offer...
Wishing you all a very happy 2017! Am also braced and ready for the beach and sun shots to come at me so do your worst, my smug-faced, suntanned Aussie pals... :):)

VC x

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