I’m Joanna, I am married to Damian and we have one daughter, Arabella. I’m a Brit living in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel/colon cancer in August 2019, aged 39; I had just relocated at the end of July when my UK GP called me with the news. You can read my whole story by navigating through the pages and posts! My mummy died from stage 4 bowel cancer April 2020 (in the UK) she was diagnosed shortly after visiting me (September 2019) I never her saw her again and I was unable to be there to physically care for her. My heart was shattered, I have had to grieve from a far and learn to accept that much of life is totally out of my control. I am grateful for technology though and our endless video calls, messages and chats. I still haven’t managed to get home (UK) due to COVID-19 but I am hopeful that I will soon, two years is a very long time and so much has happened!
The idea for this website came much later in my treatment during chemotherapy, I decided to create a platform for everyday folk to share their stories, experiences and feelings. I just wanted to hear a story that was relatable after diagnosis, which made me think do others feel the same? Everyone’s journey is unique and there are many forums, websites and books out there offering support, it’s down to personal choice how you come to terms with living with cancer. This website is one option of many offering others support but it is pivotal to my own healing journey. I found that listening to other people’s experiences gave me the most comfort; talking and/or writing about cancer has also made it easier to live with, I don’t know why but I am just rolling with what works. Not everything needs an explanation, it’s just a feeling.
So, long story short, if you have or had cancer, a loved one of someone with (or had) cancer, someone who has lost a loved, or dealing with a chronic illness and would like to share your story, contact me! This website is not limited to just cancer, if you feel comfortable and want to share your experiences and likewise, if there is anything you want to ask me, then ask away. I am really looking forward to hearing from you!
Love, Joanna xx
Here is a list of charities with links, that provide support and awareness;
- Cancer Research UK @cr_uk
- Bowel Cancer UK @bowelcanceruk
- The American Cancer Society @americancancersociety
- Fight Colorectal Cancer @fightcrc
- Cancer Council Australia @cancercouncil
- Bowel Cancer Australia @bowelcanceraustralia
- Cancer Society NZ
- Bowel Cancer NZ @bowelcancernewzealand
- Machi Filomito Cancer Project @machi_filotimo_cancer_project
- Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) @cancerassociationofsouthafrica
- Mesothelioma Hope (Advocacy organization for mesothelioma cancer)