Five Things I've learnt about life from having breast cancer in my early 40s, by Sara Liyanage, founder of Ticking Off Breast Cancer.

By Sara Liyanage   who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s

By Sara Liyanage
who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s

1. Nothing in life is permanent. Our health, our relationships and everything around us are all in a constant state of change. And this is okay. We don't need to fight the change but just accept it and go with it.

2. We all possess an inner strength of which we're generally unaware until we need it. And when we need it, like when going through cancer treatment, we can dig deep and draw out this special reserve of strength.

3. Life is not a competition. Life doesn't have to perfect and it doesn't actually matter what anyone else thinks of you. It doesn't matter if the dishwasher doesn't get emptied, or the house is untidy, or you go out without your make-up on. Life carries on and there are more important things to think about.

4. Life is for living. It's not for rushing around, racing ahead and constantly planning. Stop. Look at the vast blue sky, listen to the birds sing and feel the sun on your face.

5. Fear is often fear of the unknown. Whatever scary situation we face in life (whether cancer or something else) we are often scared because we don't know much about it. Opening our minds and finding out more about the situation will often dispel some of the fear and help us move forward.

Sara Liyanage

About Sara Liyanage
Sara is the author of Ticking Off Breast Cancer, a book about juggling life with treatment for primary breast cancer at the age of forty-two. This book follows the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer on Sara’s life, and provides practical help by way of checklists at the end of each chapter. Sara is also the founder of, a website dedicated to helping people through their breast cancer treatment. It’s a website supporting those who do not know which way to turn for help after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis; those who are overwhelmed by the breast cancer resources online and those just looking for a comfortable, safe, calm place to turn for help. The website provides practical advice for each step of the way, together with many links and signposts to other online resources. Follow Sara on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.