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Return to Blog Currently kicking cancer; a note from Ro

It would be fair to say that this year isn’t going exactly as planned. As lots of our clients are old friends, a few are blood relatives and many more have been welcomed to the Calibrate family in this first four years business it seems the right thing to share what’s going on.

The diagnosis

You know I like to talk but I couldn’t think of anything to say when the surgeon sitting in the oncology building at Auckland Hospital said ‘I’m so sorry’. I didn’t fit any of the risk factors for ovarian cancer and right up til that second I’d expected to be told the tumour was benign. So I felt disbelief and confusion, as if the courier had left the wrong package on my doorstep. I am a happy, healthy person with no family history, I honestly like kale and spinach, I was already juicing beetroot and ginger.

When you get a cancer diagnosis you have to confront your mortality and it’s pretty challenging. Some days it’s harder on your body, others on your brain. My oncology team say that I didn’t do anything to cause my cancer and I am lucky it was staged at 1C/2; it’s a nasty piece of work with sneaky habits but my odds are good. I’m determined to ‘ovar’come this, and grateful to have the chance to beat it but obviously it’s terrifying. It is very upsetting to see the impact on my husband, mum, kids, my family & friends; even total strangers at times.

The treatment

I had big surgery in May and a month later started 6 cycles of intensive double chemotherapy  to kick cancer to the curb. I am not loving chemo but I know that the aches and pains mean it is working and frankly I’m thrilled that it’s killing everything it touches. I’ve already said that if they offered a bonus session I’d snap it up! I’m 98% following a strict diet including fasting which has saved me from the worst of the nausea, that’s a big win. I’ve lost all of my hair, I’m drawing on eyebrows and my eyelashes are rare little gems, lucky for me it’s winter and I can rock a beanie and a warm wheat bag.

So. Other survivors have told me first you recover from cancer and then you recover from chemo.  We’re halfway through the treatment phase. By the end of October I’ll be finished that and ready to start re-hab, and there are tools I can use to manage the anxiety of reoccurrence over the following two years of 8-weekly testing. I can aways count on work to make me happy.

The fun stuff

The guys and I had our quarterly state of the nation meeting on Friday and I went into the leafy parkside Calibrate office for the first time in weeks to see that I’m basically being made redundant. Everybody is happy! The business is growing! We are winning more business then ever from people I’ve never met! To me the best thing about business is the art of creating something substantial and beautiful from nothing and last week I got to see what happens when I don’t go to work. Magic happens.

I’m always available on email if you’d like to say Hi back or ask my opinion or advice on anything. I will reply to you and it will be legible since my chemo-numbed-fingers have forced me to move to voice dictation which is a gamechanger. I have no idea why I’ve been stuck on 20 mistyped words per minute for so many years.

Looking ahead

No one wants to join the cancer club but opening up about it has made it less awkward for everyone else and less lonely for me. The thing you can do to help is to do what you are already doing – act normal! Say hello. Keep giving marketing challenges to our team to solve, and if you know other companies with similar challenges it wouldn’t hurt to tell them how much you like us 🙂

We’re not the first family to face this challenge, no doubt yours has been touched with tough times too. My husband and kids have been an amazing source of strength to me, and along with them I want to say thanks so much for your support to date and in the months to come.

Yours, Ro x

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