About Me

Hello Lovelies, I'm Em...welcome to Puddleducklane.

I started this little ditty in January 2013 after I was diagnosed at the age of 36 with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I wanted to share with you...my family, friends and followers...an honest account of this cancer rollercoaster ride and how it fits in with my life as a stay-at-home Mummy & Wife. Before my diagnosis I had never been touched by cancer. Its been quite the learning curve. Puddleducklane is raw, revealing and a little bit ridiculous. I'm looking for the beautiful moments in every day and sometimes they turn up in the most unexpected form. There's a whole lot of talk about boobs...my boobs mostly, plenty of happy snaps of my two little dinosaurs and my wonderful Hubby, roadtrips, foodie loves and the odd internal monologue. Enjoy! xxx

This Cancer Malarkey

Until my own diagnosis, I was one of those people who's life had not been directly touched by cancer. None of my family or friends had suffered with or died from cancer. The closest encounter I'd had was taking part in fundraising for the Cancer Council and NBCF's Pink Ribbon initiatives.
It was a genuine shock to be diagnosed with Stage 2B/Grade 2 Breast Cancer with a 3cm invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast.

So, what does all this jargon mean peeps?
Stage 2B: Tumour is 2-5cms in diameter and has spread to the Lymph nodes.
Grade 2: Intermediate abnormal & fast growing cells.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: Tumour begins in the milk duct and grows through the duct wall to the surrounding breast tissue. It can also metastasise (spread) to other parts of the body.

What amazed me the most about my diagnosis was the size of the tumour. Why hadn't I noticed such a large lump earlier than I did? It goes to show you how important regular self examination is. I'd let myself drop to the bottom of my priority list, too busy looking after my family to worry about me. (PLEASE...check your boobs girls, get to know how they look and feel and see your GP if anything seems out of place!).


First things first...cut the vile little sucker out of me!

In January 2013 I had a nipple sparing mastectomy on my right breast with an immediate reconstruction using a silicone implant. My surgeon also removed fourteen lymph nodes from my armpit. Pathology came back showing that there were cancer cells in one of the nodes.

Next stop...a high dose course of chemotherapy.

March 2013 was the start of chemo. Six treatments in total, once every three weeks. Suffice to say that it was hellish and I'm so very glad that its over!

Treatment number three was radiation which kicked off in July, three weeks after chemo finished. 

Twenty five sessions over five weeks and although towards to end it became quite painful, was a great deal more pleasant than chemo.

I started Tamoxifen in September 2013 to suppress the hormones that my type of cancer feeds on. Side effects were severe and life became unmanageable so after two and a half years I decided not to continue hormone therapy.

The preventative mastectomy and reconstruction of my left breast was completed in August 2014. The surgery was a success but emotionally I fell apart, my stiff upper lip well and truly wibbled, and it took months of counselling and anti-depressants to help me move forward.

I've had three more reconstructive surgeries on my right breast in the last few years, including a replacement of a ruptured implant. Hopefully that is it for now, the novelty of being sliced open has well and truly worn off. This cancer malarkey was always going to be challenging but I wasn't expecting the incredible amount of goodness that has come from it. Kindness, such kindness from beloved friends, family and complete strangers! The Human Spirit is a wonderful thing! I've managed to surprise myself too...my attitude to adversity in particular. I used to sweat the small stuff and become easily flustered when things went wrong. Now...now my priorities and perspective have shifted significantly and it takes a lot to make me lose my bottle.

Cancer turned my world on its head but I don't spend my time wishing it away...there is too much living to be done. Life after cancer is an entirely new normal. My body is different, my abilities are different, my attitude is different. I've had cancer, I've survived cancer so far...now it's time to move forward in the hope that I'll leave this damned disease far, far behind.

xxx Em.


  1. I love reading your blog! I too was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in my right tata and has a bilateral mastectomy this past July, followed by chemo. Your story seems all too much like mine, and it's terrible, but it truly brings out our survival instincts! Wishing you all the best and your pixie cut is cute, but you rocked the bald look too!!

    Em C

    1. Hey Lovely, thank you! I've been following your journey too and am sending much love your way!

      Cheers Em

  2. God Ems, you're flipping amazing. Seriously.


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