Talking about cancer has been relatively easy after the initial shock. The day I was diagnosed all I managed to say so a close friend was “hi, it’s Jade. I have leukaemia” So ok maybe words did not come easily that day but thankfully I said enough to let her come to me. These first few days are now pretty much a blur but that is ok because I am here now and still fighting and that is enough for me now. Speaking about my mental health issues however has never been easy. I still hate doing it because I think that people will start to judge me for being sick in a way that they don’t judge me for having cancer. For years now I have let poor mental health ruin my life but I am no longer willing to do that. For the last few weeks my anxiety levels have slowly been creeping up and for those of you who have never suffered from anxiety it is hard to explain what that means. Anxiety is not always a rational fear and eventually the fear of the anxiety itself can trigger a panic attack. When I first started having panic attacks I had no idea what was happening I was terrified and thought I was either going mad or going to die but a great friend explained to me what was happening and sat with me during the worst of them and because of him I am still here now. So why am I writing about his now? Firstly I know so many people who suffer from this and other such illnesses, but who are too scared to talk about them because of the stigma attached to having a mental illness, and if me being honest about being sick can help just one person then it is worth it. Secondly today I started taking 10 steroids a day as part of my treatment. These steroids can trigger mania as well as depression so if you are a friend who prays please pray that I will be fine and if you are a friend who sends good wishes or positive thoughts please can you do so now as the last thing I need now is for my manic depression to rear its ugly head. If you are someone who finds this topic hard remember you are not the only one who does, even I find writing about it difficult but if we always run away from the hard stuff…. well the cancer would have beaten me by now and I sure ain’t letting that win.