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

Sunday 25 January 2015


Stunning Chinamans Beach in Jervis Bay - our spiritual home. 

Dear Fellowship, 

This morning I woke up in the most beautiful place with some of my favourite people but for the first time was overwhelmingly frustrated by Limpy who, in my own mind, is currently retreating further into his dead-armed catatonic state rather than emerging jazz hands-crazy from his deep sleep.

Then to make matters worse, I broke my own golden rule and went Google-crazy on the treatment to nail Lymphy which was not my greatest ever positive-thinking strategy - the end result was a ridiculous foot-stamping, sling-flinging four year old-esque tantrum, triggered by my inability to tie up my own bikini without help.

Luckily, and with the help of some rock solid man-hugs from the team on this occasion, I am training myself to come back quite quickly from these thankfully sporadic 'waaaaaaah' episodes, of which I'm sure there will be a few more, as predicted in previous posts.

An hour later, bikini finally locked and loaded, we got to Chinamans Beach in Jervis Bay, one of our favourite places in Oz, hit the ocean and all was right again in the world.

It's a strange place, this cancer shizzle and sometimes feeling like you're sitting at a table for one by the toilets in a really shit restaurant is inevitable, I fear. But today, I was reminded yet again that in life it's not where you are, it's who you're with. And today I'm grateful that on a VERY grumpy morning indeed, I was with MF, JC and CS, my bikini-tying, non-alcoholic cocktail-fixing, lady-hugging legendary man-slaves. Thanks, lads.


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