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A big, ugly cancer scare

A big, ugly cancer scare

I’ve had a funny old week.

It started with finding a lump in my neck.

<Insert high pitched terrified scream here.>

(***Back story: the type of cancer I had loves lurking around the neck.)

Upon finding the lump, my brain went into a state of national emergency. I suddenly had internal alarm bells similar to what I imagine would have gone off before the Independence Day aliens laser beamed their way into the White House. Total panic mode.

I couldn’t stop imagining the worst of what this little lump would mean if there was a lymphoma party going on inside. And I couldn’t stop doctor googling the shit out of it.

(Why is it that the horror stories always have the best SEO?)

To top this off, I then got a weird face rash. After a day at the doctors and ED, it turned out it was face shingles! I mean REALLY!?

I spent most of last week angry and scared, and convinced the lump (and consequent rash) were going to kick me out of remission and into cancer world again. I was angry that it was going to take away my freedom, my energy and ruin my 2019 plans.

That was until a wise warrior friend made me re-think my feelings of body betrayal. She reminded me that our bodies are on our side, even when it feels like they’re not. They’re designed to heal themselves and sometimes we’re not very good at helping them.

Briony Benjamin instagram post

It totally struck a chord. I’d been hating on my body.

For some reason, in moments of body panic I always think of my mind as one thing and my body as one thing. Never as a team. I feel like my body has been secretly ganging up on me and not letting me in on the plan.

So back to my neck lump.

After seeing a haematologist (blood doctor), and having an ultrasound and an MRI, I’m happy to announce I’m the proud new owner of a schwannoma - A benign tumor that grows in nerve sheaths.


The universe was definitely having a laugh by lodging a squishy tumor on the neck of a someone in remission for lymphoma.

My, my, my, myyyyyyyyy Schwannoma.

And in conclusion…

If I learnt anything from this week of stress and blockbuster alarm bells, it was my body was asking for some help. Asking me to slow down, sleep more, stress less, and show it a little bit of love. It’s doing the best it can and I need to do a better job at listening. 2019 has had a rocky start but I’m going to make this the year of nourishing and nurturing me.

So this week I’ve started reading about food nutrition called How NOT to die, taking CBD oil (I’ll let you know how that goes), making time for yoga, green juicing and saying no to a schedule that will turn me into a super frantic energiser bunny at a 3-day rave.

Don’t wait for the cancer diagnosis or the wake up calls I got. Take a little time today to show your body some love and affection. After all, it’s on your team.

Em xo

Go on - let me know how can you do better for your body? (Comment below)

Emily and her boyfriend Psembi


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