I've been here before - green - leaves

I’ve been here before.

The long wait in a crowded, anxious room. Being led to an over-quiet, clinical office. The concerned expression on the consultant’s face, as he says: “It’s cancer, I’m afraid.”

The first diagnosis was in 2008 – then again in 2011. And now, in 2013, I’m here again.

I haven’t spoken much about my cancer journey in public, or written much about it here – this had always been a business blog, so a story about living with cancer didn’t seem relevant. And it’s not my intention to turn this into a blog about breast cancer now, either.

However, having had breast cancer HAS had a huge impact on my life over the past five years – and I’ve realised that how I have dealt with it IS relevant to how I work with my clients.

In the same way that my being an Introvert, a Scanner (although I prefer the description “multiple specialist”) and a Supporter/Star affects my behaviour and the way I see the world, so too does the fact that I’ve had breast cancer – whether or not I am now free of cancer and will be for the rest of my life.

In the beginning, I saw it as a wake-up call – a sign that my life needed to change. When it returned, I understood that I still hadn’t changed my life significantly, so I needed a reminder. But a third time?

OK – this time I really AM paying attention!

I’ve noticed that I have often needed to experience a particular challenge three times, before I fully understand what I’m meant to learn from it.

In 2008, I simply knew that I needed to change my life in some way.

In 2011, I realised that the change I needed to make was about being true to myself, instead of trying to be like someone else. And I think I’ve been taking that on board over the past couple of years. I even wrote a Manifesto in 2012, to reflect this… But there’s obviously more to it than that.

Last week (2013), during an Inspired Entrepreneurs Community event, we were talking about how much we invest in keeping ourselves small, instead of investing in our greatness.

Guilty as charged!!

So, for the next month, I’m going to be writing about my journey to invest in my greatness – even though simply saying that makes me feel slightly queasy.

This will include writing about my journey with breast cancer – not just for the sake of it, but rather to show how it has changed my life and how I am still learning the lessons my subconscious is trying to teach me.

I’ve been here before.

And, if I fail to learn the lesson fully this time round, I may be here again.

And if I find myself here again, then at the very least I will know that I’ve come through it again this time – and will do so next time as well.


If you’re looking for support and a community of women who are also living with cancer, I recommend you visit Marie Ennis O’Connor’s “Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer” blog.

6 thoughts on “I’ve Been Here Before

  1. Just loving this glimpse of you Julia..braveheart…x

  2. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you for all your support, Martine. x

  3. Like you, I too need to be told 3 times before I finally get it – and the voice gets louder each time I ignore the previous one. Having said that, I’m relieved I haven’t experienced a recurrence of the breast cancer. Perhaps I learnt what I needed to learn first time around? Who knows? You’re such an inspiration to me, Julia. Can’t wait to read your blogs about how you invest in your greatness!
    Sue Plumtree recently posted..Do you want to get rid of fear? Here’s howMy Profile

  4. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you Sue! I’m also relieved for you. Interestingly, for me, the voice doesn’t necessarily get louder each time. In this instance, in particular, I’m glad to say that the voice has been gentler than before.

  5. Thanks so much Julia for referencing my blog Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer – everyone is welcome to read and comment there – not just those affected by breast cancer. I find that the lessons learned on the cancer journey are lessons that are applicable to all life challenges.

  6. Julia Barnickle

    You’re very welcome, Marie. You make a very good point – that we can apply these lessons to all life challenges – which is why I have decided to explore this part of my life in greater depth over the coming month. Thank you, too, for the support you offer on your blog.

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