stories of grace, hope and life beyond cancer

One year on


This time last year my world changed forever.

11 April 2012 was a warm sunny day in Cape Town. We had been having such a wonderful holiday seeing my parents with our new baby. That day I had what I thought were just more routine tests following difficulty with breast feeding… But as I had yet another ultrasound, I could tell that something wasn’t right… From the changed demeanour of the doctor, from the big dark patches on the screen. This was followed by a mammogram, which was excruciatingly painful on the side with the malignancy and then finally confirmation of a reality that I had not dared to speak.

It was cancer.

And it was in this moment that everything changed and the bottom fell out of my world. It felt like all of my hopes and dreams had been robbed from me in that instant and they had been replaced by something ugly and difficult, something unwanted, so horrible that some people won’t even say the word. Cancer. In that moment the world seemed a very dark and hopeless place and as I faced my own mortality for the very first time I was terrified.

Following my diagnosis we kicked into survival mode, and getting through each day was an achievement in itself. The months that followed were a blur of treatment and tests, countless visits to the hospital and time spent on the sofa. It was gruelling both physically (chemo in particular does nasty things to your body) as well as mentally (the battle against fear is one that I have had to fight with every ounce of strength I can muster).

But here I am. One year on. Since my diagnosis I have turned 30, had two haircuts, celebrated my baby’s first birthday, and seen my hope rebuilt. I am now beginning to dream again and that is truly wonderful.

I have learnt many things this past year. One of the things I have come to realise is just how much I want to live! And I don’t mean just survive or go through the motions every day. I want to REALLY live! I want to savour each day, take time to be quiet, to enjoy nature, my boy’s development, to pursue my dreams with reckless abandon, to sing at every opportunity, to love my husband and family fiercely, and to run after God with everything I have in me.

That is what having cancer has taught me. To really live and to seek the John 10:10 reality of the abundant life that God promises.


12 thoughts on “One year on

  1. phew- thank you Cath. Feel blessed to have been able to share in your journey through your posts- and feel re-inspired to LIVE the life that Jesus came to give us in abundance!!!

  2. You are an amazing lady with a wonderful family. I truly wish you well, love Nina (Denny, Robs wife) xxx

  3. YES YES YES! That is so awesome, Cath. What an inspiration you are. Thank you for your raw honesty and openness. And how exciting the purposes God has for you. So much love x fi

  4. Wow! What an inspiration and God invitation to enjoy all of life right now right here. Just what I needed today Cath. Thank you! Keep on keeping on writing. Blessed are we.

  5. That’s amazing. Xx

  6. Cath – I love your posts – you are an inspiration! Lots and lots of love to you, Joel and Jonty, C xx

  7. Wow!thank you for sharing that!xx

  8. Wonderful stuff Cath, thank you so much for this and previous posts… I haven’t left many comments but I have gained so much from reading them. I am two weeks away from completing my radiation and so looking forward to the 24th April when I can put the daily hospital visits behind me! Huge blessings to you Joel and Jonty x Mel Traest

  9. Cath it’s been a real privilege to walk this path with you and to partner with your mom and others in prayer each step of the way. It is wonderful to see how GOD has worked and exciting to see how it all pans out. Lots of hugs to you all from William and I

  10. Dear Cath, thank you for your beautiful and powerful words. I have just prayed again for you all, as well as for your parents. Thank you, Jesus for your hand on their lives. xxx

  11. beautifully said. Thanks for sharing! So heartfelt and moving

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