Four years: From one breast lump to another
Today I went for my second ever breast lump investigation. Same hospital and just over four years to the day since the first one. Twice I have been told, thankfully, that the lumps are non-cancerous, although this time I had to have a cyst drained. So why am I blogging about this on my “outdoors” website?
Well, apart from having an urge to tell you how relieved I am and to blog again about the fantastic service offered by the NHS at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, today is poignant because it’s four years since I wrote my first ever FionaOutdoors blog post, following the 2008 mammogram.
As it turns out, the friend who accompanied me to hospital today was also the pal who prompted me to start my blog. So, thanks go again to Rachel for chatting with me for hours while we waited at the hospital between doctor’s examinations, a mammogram, an ultra scan and then the draining of the cyst.
A lot has changed in four years
Like all milestone moments, I started thinking about how things have changed in the four years since I started my blog. Here are a few of those changes, in no particular order:
- What started as a blog-writing hobby has turned into a website that is the focus of my on-line writing business and the showcase for a growing range of on-line blogging clients.
- Four years ago most of my journalistic work was for print-based newspapers and magazines. Now, most of my work is on-line, blogging professionally for clients and writing on-line website copy.
- In 2008, I was known mostly as Fiona Russell, now I am mostly known as FionaOutdoors!
- My personal circumstances have changed from married with primary school aged daughter, to divorced and living with new partner (the G-Force) and teenage daughter.
- We had a cat and now we have a cat and a dog (Wispa the Wonder Whippet).
- In 2008, I thought I was relatively happy with my lot but then came close to a break down, suffered very badly with depression for a couple of years, took a long course of ant-depressants, fought to overcome the frightening illness and now find myself happier with life, relationships, friends and work than ever before.
- As a freelance journalist of only three years in 2008, I rarely took holidays and found the work-life balance a struggle. Now I make sure I have holidays and time off and have learned to enjoy myself, as well as working hard.
- I am well into my 40s, while in 2008 I was getting used to being 40. I like being at this stage in my life, although I don’t always feel so young and vibrant!
- The outdoors has saved my life. While I struggled with depression I was lucky to have the support of the G-Force, who insisted I spent as much time as I could walking Munros. He encouraged me to keep up with my fitness pursuits, including cycling and running, and I am convinced that this helped me to overcome my depression.
- Rachel is still my friend. The good friends I had in 2008, who I count as my good friends today, too, are the friends that I am sure I will have for life. In four years I have also gained new and lovely friends. Thanks to all of them for the amazing support with my work and life.
- While in 2008 I was unsure about the on-line world of blogging and social media, today I am confident and knowledgeable. I wasn’t sure, back then, that it would be the future of my business. Now it is my business – and I love it!
- I used to do all my work on a slow laptop that seemed to be stuck to my home-office desk. Now I do a lot of my work on an iPad. I move with freedom from one place to another and don’t spend as long at my desk. I relish this freedom.