Few women who have battled breast cancer are opportune to carry on with their lives as before. One of such is Rebecca Loncraine, who has moved on to live a better life in spite of her illness.
Narrating her journey with cancer, she says, “I obtained my doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University and had just completed a biography of L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz. I had certain expectations, a narrative I thought I’d follow — school, university, career, marriage. Looking back, I’d say I worked too hard, such that I had a narrow view of life and success.
“In July 2009 at age 35, a diagnosis of breast cancer blew all that apart. I had two lumps — one under my arm and one under my breast. I remember the sorrowful look on the consultant’s face when she told me it was cancer. My mom, who was with me, burst into tears and said, ‘Why isn’t it me?’ It was a crisis, shock and horror, like being whisked up in my own tornado.”
Loncraine gave up her rented home in Oxford and moved back to her parents’ farm for a gruelling year of treatment that included chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and Cat scans to see if the cancer had spread. Thankfully, it hadn’t. By the time she was through with her treatments, there was no question of returning to her old life. She simply wasn’t the same.
She continues, “I remember a friend saying, ‘You’ll soon be back to your old self;’ and knowing it just wasn’t possible, I said, ‘That whole narrative, the old assumption that my life would follow a simple path that I could control, had been taken away.”
She wasn’t sure she could write again, as her illness had rendered her almost speechless. “For the