“Whilst on my summer holiday in 2016 I noticed a change in my left breast. My nipple had become flat, it just wasn’t how it should be. As I was still recovering from the removal of a melanoma on my left arm just a short time before, the chance of it being the big 'C' again hadn't even crossed my mind.
Following a visit to my GP, I was fast tracked to breast clinic. Mammogram, ultra sound and biopsies were carries out. I was told they were very concerned. A week later and the results showed it was ductal carcinoma, so the plan was chemo to shrink the lump lumpectomy then radiotherapy.
On the day I was meant to have the tumour marker inserted, I received a call to go to see the breast surgeon immediately. Results of the MRI had actually shown two separate cancers one on top of the other, ductal and lobular carcinoma. The original plan was replaced with left mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. A week later I had my mastectomy and ten days later more surgery for axillary clearance, which resulted in a massive bleed so I needed a short stay in hospital. Chemo was gruelling and at times I didn’t think I would ever make it through.
Radiotherapy seemed much easier until my skin broke down and I was left with horrific burns. I found life as a ‘Uni Boober’very hard. I was so sad I was no longer the girl I used to be either physically, mentally or emotionally. I have struggled to embrace my “new normal”, breast cancer and its treatments have changed me as a person forever. I was forced to retire on the grounds of ill health as I could no longer do the job I loved. This has been very hard to accept. The long lasting damage that chemo and radiotherapy have caused to my pre existing auto immune conditions has been utterly life changing.
In January this year I had delayed left diep reconstruction which led to complications with the surgery and subsequent healing. I had to attend dressings clinic for months until my tummy wound healed. I still have more surgery to come, but I will take it in my stride and with a stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on.
Becoming a Boobee and supporting Prevent Breast Cancer is my way of saying thank-you for the fabulous ongoing treatment and support I receive. I am passionate about spreading awareness for this great cause.”