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

Friday 15 January 2016


Dear Fellowship, 

Let me be very clear - there is generally no excuse for posting a smug-faced picture of oneself wafting about on a boat at an age when one should really know better. No one likes a show-off, even a ex-cancery-faced one. 

But today is an important day and so the normal rules do not apply. And to be fair, I do love a boat-related photo. Today was my 12 month mammogram and ultrasound, the first actual scan I've had since treatment started that has officially confirmed the ongoing absence of Lumpy, Lymphy and their merry gang of thieves. 
I didn't realise quite how anxious I was about these scans till I started properly hyperventilating like a freak this morning and almost threw up into a bin outside Darlinghurst XRay. All class. 
I haven't wanted to previously and still don't want to shout 'woohoo, cancer-free!' from the rooftops because that kind of chat makes the fate-tempter in me a bit nervous but I'm not sure Dr Dave was quite ready for the bear hug I sprang upon him when he nonchalantly told me everything was fine an hour ago.
So yes, everything is fine. Phew. Dr Dave is happy. My boobs are delighted and loving their own work. And I have stopped holding my breath and no longer want to throw up into a bin. Which is good. And this photo is the best one I can find right now that accurately portrays my current happy face and relieved mind. 
So the first of hopefully many annual scans is done and I'm officially a massive ex-cancer-faced show-off with two working arms and a ginger tan, wafting about on any boat that'll take me at an age when I should know better. 
And I'm ok with that. :)
VC x
P.s I also feel like an actor who keeps coming out from the wings for another encore. Will totally understand if you've all now left the Fellowship, pushed off home and there's just a bloke in overalls sweeping up at the back...

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