About me

Not many people will confidently say they’ve achieved success.  I’m one of the lucky few who can.

In 2006 I was working full time at a job I loved, married to the man of my dreams and living in a cute little semi of our own.  By 2018 I was a widowed Kiwi, working full time, living in a house share in London and admittedly feeling a bit sorry for myself.   Then I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and my life was turned upside down again.  However on hearing about my diagnosis I was surrounded by friends and family, many flying half way round the world to be with me throughout 2018.  It was at this point I knew I had achieved success.

The youngest of five, with the surname Best, I was an ambitious child. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years playing the piano and flute and at the age of seventeen I passed the Licentiate of Trinity College London (LTCL), and qualified as a flute teacher.  I went on to Canterbury University (NZ) where I majored in Japanese and history, graduating in 1997.

My passion for globetrotting was sparked by a year volunteering as a teacher at a vocational school in the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka in 1998.  This led to a ten year career teaching music and English as a foreign language in various institutions around the world.  I have lived and worked in five countries and travelled to 57!  

Settling in the UK, I met Matthew Chadwick in 2002 and we were married in Ledbury, a quaint market town in Herefordshire, in 2006.  We settled in Oxfordshire and adopted a collie/husky-cross called Syra.  I started working at Said Business School, University of Oxford and Matt followed his passion and taught history at Banbury Academy. Remarkably, Matt, was living and working with a grade 4 GBM brain tumour and was affectionately called a “double hard bastard” by his surgeon for his ability to live against the odds.

I started this blog, originally called Matt Me and Tommy, in 2011.  It was a way to raise awareness of brain tumours, cope with the pressures of caring and to share medical updates with friends and family, none of whom lived locally.  I chronicled the roller coaster of caring for Matt before he passed away in November 2013.

Following my own diagnosis in 2018 I revived the blog.  Renaming it Chadders Cancer Club, it chronicles my treatment journey and learnings, in the hope that it will help others to also live well with cancer.   


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