2014/15 was a busy and stressful time for me. I had been studying throughout most of 2014 and into 2015 for exams at work, my son was having some attachment issues that was causing concern for me, work was mad busy and stressful and generally my life was just a stress fest juggling work & home things around. I just didn't realise the impact things were having on me.
At the beginning of 2015I passed both exams and was excited to start a new chapter in my career. As I've always had issues with my weight. From being young I then decided to challenge myself and thought it was now time to loose weight and sort my 14 stone mass out once and for all, so I started a detox and healthy lifestyle drive.
Having started the detox about 4 weeks late, I had cycled to work and jumped into the shower and as I was washing my left breast I felt a lump. Not my normal internal lumps but a lump I could feel clearly as I brushed the side of my boob with my hand. Straight away I informed my supervisor and got straight on to the GP. By 4 PM I was sat in front of the doc explaining this lump.
2 weeks and 1 day later I was at Tameside hospital seeing the breast specialist. I had a mammogram, ultra sound scan and a biopsy then was told something wasn't right and I needed to go back in 2 weeks. I could tell by the reaction it was bad news. I just didn’t know how bad. My family were with me and I told them straight away no matter what we would take as many positives out of this situation as we can. My motto "We will cross that bridge when we get to it"
2 weeks later on 6th June 2015 I was back at the clinic to be told I had breast cancer.
16th June I had a lumpectomy and 1 lymph node removed. It was discovered during the op I had not just 1 lump but 2 and each lump was a different type of cancer ductal and lobula.
29th July 2015 I had another op after the lymph node came back as having cancer in it. So a full lymph node clearance plus various other ops along the way.
Chemo started end of 2015 and ended 2016. Let me tell you that was no stroll in the park. The hair loss was do-able, the weight gain from steroids was manageable and the exhaustion was well exhausting but the way chemo hits your body and causes you so much discomfort & emptiness that was hard. A turning point for me was looking into the hospital mirror and wondering who that person was. I have heard many people who have had cancer say the same thing, its soul destroying, but I used this to change my life around! In Feb I started Radiotherapy. I finished that in the March.
A few weeks later I started clean eating and exercising. I have been cancer free for 4 years. I have been working hard through various cancer related health issues to continue with my healthy lifestyle and plan to continue to reach my goals. Things could have been much different if it wasn't for that early detection!
So why am I involved in BreastFest? June 2016 months after Chemo I did a catwalk for a cancer charity. It changed me as a person for the better. I have grown in many ways because of how that event made me feel. I did it again in 2016 but also helped another group to grow , develop and move forward after their diagnosis and then I got the chance to do the same again for 100 amazing women. To see how they are changing, developing and growing in confidence. To see how they support each other and how their friendships are growing and at the same time their anger, disbelieve, strength and courage has turned into passion, commitment and dedication to educate Greater Manchester and make them breast aware, how could I not get involved. Check your boobees x