On November 26th, 2011, I wandered into and an Ear, Nose & Throat clinic to see about my swollen glands. They looked at me, whispered in the corner, then suggested a needle biopsy was done there and then. It turned out to be Hodgkins Disease (cancer of the lymph nodes). This isn't the place to get into treatments and associated issues, but it does raise a very interesting situation re: freelancing when facing a serious illness.
At the time of the diagnosis I was thinking about refreshing my website, I had lots of project ideas and ongoing discussions with potential new clients. Then for months, nothing moved forward. Nothing. In 2012, I have had, on paper, a lesser output than for many years, mainly due to the time out for chemotherapy, but also because development of my career halted. Almost overnight everything I knew and took comfort from became somehow provisional. My own wedding was postponed. Nothing was certain anymore. It happened very, very quickly and was incredibly frightening.
Only now, a year on - and thankfully in good health - am I building again. And it's deliberate that this blog post is the first as the new site goes live.
My mind is back in the swing of cultivating new opportunities and forging new ideas. I'm way behind compared to where I'd like to be but things are moving, gathering momentum again. It's cathartic to address this in writing. It's the first time I feel brave enough to admit and then address the career side of cancer. The process seems to rid my system of the bad memories and allows me to move on. Never again will I take everyday things for granted, and that's no bad thing at all. I'll push like never before. Be a better photographer than I was before. Make things happen.
It can pour with rain, flights can be late, traffic can snarl up and software can crash. I don't care. Because I no longer have cancer.
Look out world, I’m coming through. Again.