On the 4th September 2015 I went for my routine mammogram, less than a week later I received a letter with an appointment to attend at the Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital. At the appointment I was told that they had found something suspicious and wanted to take biopsy’s to establish if it was anything to be concerned about. I initially thought that I would be ok as both my mother and sister had been recalled similarly, mums was benign and my sisters was a cyst so I hoped that one of these would be the case for myself, how wrong could I be.
I returned on the 23rd September 2015, where I had an appointment with my consultant who then told me that I had stage 2 Breast Cancer. Immediately my mind went into panic mode, I broke down and after a couple of minutes, pulled myself together and asked what I was looking at. My consultant explained where the cancer was situated but I really didn’t take any of it in at the time. She then told me that the best course of action would be to have a lumpectomy and then radiotherapy. She checked the diary and my operation was booked the 16th October 2015.
I then left the hospital to go home and digest the information that I had been given; telling my husband and my 13 year old daughter was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.
Two weeks after the appointment I went back to see my surgeon who stated that when they had removed the cancer they had regraded it to grade 3, he told me that he would therefore like me to have chemotherapy to ensure they had got all the cells. I remember feeling numb but agreed to the treatment as they are the experts. I asked if I would lose my hair and was told that within 14 days of my first treatment I would lose all my hair. I started my chemotherapy on the 19th November 2015 and yes 14 days later I began to lose my hair, my timetable for the chemo was one treatment every three weeks (three treatments) and then a different chemo one a week for nine weeks.
I have to say, chemo is not the best thing in the world and I did end up being hospitalised three times during my second course of chemo but if I had to go through it all again to end up where I am today I would.
At the end of my chemo my husband was taken into hospital where sadly he passed away, during this time I was told that I could not start my radiotherapy as they had found a shadow on my left lung and they wanted to investigate this first, after several test I was given the news that everything was ok and that I could commence my radiotherapy. This I found was a breeze compared with the chemo.
I am happy to say that I am now four years in remission.
I could not have gone through this journey without my family and friends who have supported me through every step of the way; my sister deserves a mention of her own as she attended every chemotherapy and radiotherapy session with me, thank you Carol.
This chapter of my life has changed me it has made me stronger and will now push myself out of my comfort zone which is why I have decided to be part of BreastFest. I want to spread the word that Breast Health is important and that early detection is key.