This week we speak to Heidi Loughlin, founder of the blog Storm in a Tit Cup
Storm in a Tit Cup documents my inflammatory breast cancer and subsequent loss of our daughter, Ally. When I was diagnosed with this very rare and aggressive cancer I looked for something hopeful and there was nothing out there, so I blogged all the things that have happened; life with cancer isn’t all negative. It’s written humorously – people don’t want doom and gloom all the time – and has become a place for people to swap stories, empower themselves.
Cancer, cancer in pregnancy and child loss are all taboo subjects. The blog has given me the chance to raise awareness, get involved in Stand Up To Cancer, things on the telly, etc. I feel a responsibility to turn my experience into something positive. My little boy just started school. Some people cry dropping kids off for the first time, but I was elated because I thought I’d be dead by that point.
Winning Butterfly Awards’ Inspirational Mother 2017 was amazing, a reminder that people take notice. It was also extremely sad, a whole night of stories around baby loss. You think ‘Bloody hell, how do we keep breathing?’ They’re traumas you never get over, just learn to manage.
If you’re given a cancer diagnosis, let how you feel come out and then remind yourself that you are in control. Be open to the fact things will never be the same again, and in time you will learn how to manage all the stuff in your life.
In theory I’m terminally ill, but no one really knows what will happen. The usual prognosis is two–five years from diagnosis; I’m at two and feel fine. We did a big bucket list drive across the US, which was incredible. Never stop adding to the list, because what’s the alternative? “Right, that’s boxed off, I’m ready to die.” You need goals. If I was writing a letter to my pre-diagnosis self, I’d say money is never important enough; time is the best currency anyone can give.