I went for my first mammogram, I wasn't worried I had no symptoms, I had postponed the appointment because it was the same time as my gynaecology appointment at a different hospital. Three years previously I had been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour which had resulted in a 20cm tumour being removed along with a full hysterectomy.
I had my mammogram and a few days later I got the dreaded call saying nothing to worry about but we need to do further views. I work as a radiographer so I knew something was wrong. I went on my own and had more mammograms and an ultrasound biopsy. I was told don't come on your own for the results, so I knew it was going to be cancer. My mum had had breast cancer at the same age 51. It was Christmas and my husband said don't tell anyone until you get the results. We got the result on 28th December grade 2 ductal carcinoma insitu, lumpectomy and radiotherapy to follow. Telling my son was upsetting, he was shocked, he said but you have had no symptoms and I couldn't even feel the lump! I felt fine I was healthy, never even had any time off sick.
Lumpectomy and sentinel node followed which was fine just a little uncomfortable. Two weeks later we went for the results , it was changed to a grade 3 tumour and one node was involved so now told I would need chemotherapy, full node clearance and radiotherapy. We were shocked I was crying and my husband was quiet and shocked! We also had to cancel our holiday to Germany.
6 cycles of chemotherapy over 18 weeks followed. We booked some weekends away in between cycles, I needed something to look forward to. Chemotherapy is horrible, very tiring and very upsetting when you lose your hair. I found the worst part was my horrible dry mouth, and everything tasted horrible! That was extremely difficult for someone like me who loves food!
After the chemotherapy in July, we booked our holiday to Nuremberg again and we had a great time.
In August I had the full axillary clearance which was fine just a little sore. I couldn't believe I'd had 9 months off work. I felt ready to return, so I decided to return to work on the first day of my radiotherapy which was probably a little mad. As I work part time, I managed to fit work around the radiotherapy appointments and the Christie hospital was close to where I work. I was so glad to get back to normal.
I want to join the BooBee campaign to raise awareness of the importance of attending for your mammogram, it saved my life. I feel I had the best treatment available and now I want to use my experience to speak to other women and to share my story. I also want to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer and to raise awareness. This campaign means a lot to me.