Breast Cancer
Twas the Night Before Test Results…

Twas the Night Before Test Results…

…and all through the house, came a total rollercoaster of events, emotions and goings on.

Let me give you a bit of an update.

2020-Present

Lockdown

As some of you may know, when COVID-19 reached our shores and we moved into Lockdown 1.0, I spent some time running an online Salesforce course for absolute beginners. This was born from a combination of loneliness and late-night Facebook scrolling, as I observed my fellow townspeople being furloughed or losing their jobs entirely when the world stopped turning. My daughter was with her dad for the foreseeable future while we awaited the UK government to shuffle itself into motion, meaning lonely evenings, so I thought – why not? Maybe I’d learn something new too.

I decided simplicity was key here, so I set up a Google site, added some tongue-in-cheek Walking Dead apocalypse humour to the theme and planned the course out. I decided to teach the platform fundamentals, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and finish off with some overviews of Experience Cloud and some private mentoring and career-based sessions for the learners who showed up live.

Each lesson was recorded, published on my YouTube channel, and embedded on the Google site to appear alongside the homework I set everyone to complete between sessions. I was really pleased to welcome a few guest speakers to take us through some meatier topics, around halfway through the course – thank you to everybody who came along and volunteered to help me. Salesforce got wind of what I was doing and were kind enough to invite me to a Trailblazer Talk session, with other esteemed panellists from the Salesforce ecosystem, which you can watch here if you’d like to hear more about why I did it.

If you would like to follow this course, you’re welcome to follow at your own pace through the links I’ve provided above. It’s there, it’s free, and always will be.

The Architech Club (affectionately known as TAC)

It would be remiss of me not to bring you up to speed on TAC. Wow, what a ride it’s been.

I now am part of a leadership team of 4 incredibly talented humans, and a wider team of around 20 architects and internal “TACos” who’ve come to us. Between us, it’s an insane amount of experience, and enough battle scars and org confessions to keep you going for several nights around your average campfire. There are a few I still haven’t met in person, but we know and work together well despite the necessity of full-time remote working. The Architech Club began in response to several patterns I’d noticed in delivering Salesforce projects over the years, and so far we’ve been able to realise 3 theories I had for project success.

The ride is bumpy, shaky and full of ups and downs. Every mistake I’ve made since starting The Architech Club has been incredibly valuable to me and I have soaked up the learning that goes with it. Since founding TAC and serving as CEO, I’ve developed skills in leadership, management (NOT the same thing :)), HR, sales, pricing, financial planning, marketing, employee wellbeing and all the stuff that goes with doing the job. As someone who values learning for its own sake, I absolutely love it. I’ve thrown out, amended or built upon ideas and visions I had at the beginning and it’s fantastic to see it paying off.

What I’m most proud of? Spending time, talking to mentors and firming up the value propositions and message of The Architech Club. I’m jointly proud of the hiring decisions I made once I established a structured recruitment process. My whole team has skills I don’t have, our people help each other every day in their learning, and in taking our business to the next level. In turn, I also get to learn! Together we get a lot done well and everyone at TAC believes in our #SalesforceSustainably message – I couldn’t be prouder of them all.

What I’m least proud of? Sooooo many things I’m not proud of, and mostly to do with the way I’ve handled some situations. With every mis-step there comes a lesson learned, though. And a plan or adjustment for next time.

And Finally….Health

Yeah the biggie. I’m writing tonight on Test Results Eve. I’m not really feeling too great about this one. I’ve had some concerning symptoms and last week I went in for a CT scan on my body and head. There are also two dodgy-looking lymph nodes in my neck on the right-hand side. Under ultrasound, they had a look and took a biopsy. Dr Peters did the scan again (I don’t think she remembered me from last time, probably because I went and got divorced again), and she turned a bit grave once she got a good look. The nurse did too.

It was a bit upsetting this time. I am hopeful, although I reckon I’ll need chemotherapy again, as it’s lymph nodes on the opposite side of my body to where the breast cancer was originally.

That sucks, coz after 7 years my hair is now long and thick and looks awesome when straightened. Boo.

Most importantly, I’ve had the same rollercoaster ride of thoughts and feelings this past week that I had when I was first diagnosed and we didn’t know how bad it was. Mollie, who’s pre-pubescent now and going through a separation anxiety phase over me…….

The business just taking off….

Projects to deliver….

My house….

My people…..

Gah.

There’s nothing you or anyone can do or say to make the anxiety go away when you’re waiting to find out if your evil murderous cancer army is back. You can just try and distract yourself. This time though, I finally called MacMillan for emotional support. After 7 bloody years. I just didn’t want to join THAT community, but at this stage now, after a few scares, I’m just going to face it head-on and get it sorted out.

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