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 24 August 2016


Dear Fellowship, 

Because there ain't no selfie like a 'Happy end of treatment-versary to me' selfie! 

Today is a big day and not just because I intend to walk up the 4 trillion steps in the sweltering heat to our Amalfi villa without crying, swearing at my sister, hiding in a bush or throwing up on myself. 
Today marks a full year since I waltzed out of Sunburn Sue's office with a wig in my hand and a spring in my step, hopefully never to return. 
It marks one year since I cried like a loon and let my scrambled eggs go cold because of an 11 minute video of the best and most heartwarming friendship-based content on t'web. 
And it therefore also marks my being one-fifth of the way towards the old official 5 yr remission marker that we cancer survivors like to keep a watchful eye on from time to time. 
You may have gathered by now that I quite like a milestone, and this date, along with the original D-day on Jan 2nd, is the date that I will always put a nice tick next to on the calendar before quietly going about my much more important business of (this year) taking nauseating pictures of Italian sunrises, seascapes and Aperol spritzers.

So one year has passed - the wig's gone, the eyelashes, curls and arm have come back and I've now got more freckles than Bieber's got birds but other than that (and a low-key overseas move, quitting of job, renting of idyllic cottage in riverside hamlet and imminent student life), everything pretty much has stayed the same. 
So Happy Anniversary and thanks for gritting your teeth and counting to ten every time I triumphantly brandish the "but you must do this for me - I've had cancer" card. One day, I will stop. But not quite yet...
And most importantly, Happy 1st Birthday to my favourite Aussie/ Zimbabwean, Thomasina Dobson. I couldn't think of a better, brighter, happier little soul to share this date with!

Ciao for now (so Italian, me)
VC x

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