Cancer does not define you.

Cancer is not part of who you are. Cancer is part of your past, and the past no longer exists.

Cancer has been part of your life for so long it's almost as if you don't know who you are without it.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer my world revolved around cancer for the next two years. That's not to say that it consumed my thoughts 24/7 but it's underlying presence was always there. Then the treatment was over and that underlying presence was gone, and in some strange way it left this space that I wasn't used to.

I was left to just be me again... not Saskia with cancer, just Saskia and it felt unfamiliar... I felt unfamiliar.

Does that make any sense? Can you relate?

I was in this no man's land, stuck between who I was before and who I was after.

Sure I was still me, well mostly me, but a huge part of myself didn't feel like me anymore and I wasn't sure what to do with that.

At first this made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin, fearful and confused. But then I realised, we don't have to stay the same person our whole lives. There's no rule book that says we are who we are and that's it. And whoever invented the term 'A leopard can never change it's spots.'was talking utter nonesense.

Cancer is terrible;e, we can all agree on that... but the one positive I have found in going through cancer was that it gave me the opportunity to shed my old skin and become a new and improved version of myself.

I believe that's what surviving cancer or any other life-changing trauma does to a person... it transforms them forever.

The problem is because we don't understand what's happening, or how we are feeling, we interpret it as the loss of our old selves; like cancer has stolen whole are. When in actual fact it is not a loss but a letting go of the old and an introduction to a whole new way of being. So yes cancer did take a part of us, but in taking a layer of us away it brought a purer part of who we are to the surface.

And that's why it feels so raw and scary; because we have never met that part of ourselves's completely new to us so of course it is scary.

But this is a whole, clean and fresh chapter of your life with a whole, clean and fresh part of yourself you can start to discover... and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

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