VIVIENNE

My Story begins in June 2017

My husband and I were glued to Love Island one evening 🌴 when I heard a txt beep on my phone which was on his side of the room, I asked him to throw it across to me which he did. As it landed it hit my left breast, I screamed out loud in pain as he said “blimey, I’d didn’t throw it that hard”, I said I know but my God, that was painful.

Over the days and weeks my pain did not go away. I could feel a lump above the nipple.
I then decided to go to the doctor who said “oh, it’s nothing!”
We then went on holiday in July and on return I was just not feeling that great. I went back to the doctor who again said “oh, it’s probably an inflamed gland In the Breast”. I wasn’t happy with the response and insisted on a referral, I’d had a history spanning over 15 years of benign cysts and wanted peace of mind, as I was still in pain with it!

Two weeks later I was referred to the Nightingale Centre, a place I was quite familiar with and expected the normal response of “oh it’s a cyst, it’s all fine”. However, this time was very different. I saw my consultant at 10am and after several biopsies of both my left breast and lymph nodes and scans, I was back with him at 3.30 with a worried look, “we need to get to the bottom of this” he said.

The following week seemed to go on forever but now my results were back and the news was going to be life changing...
It was Breast Cancer and it had spread to Lymph Nodes. I was devastated my world had just been turned upside down I had literally no idea of what was to come.

The lump was a DCIS under the area of the Breast that the phone had landed on.
I was then fast tracked for a CT and MRI to check if it had spread further. Literally 24hours later I was called back to the Nightingale there was another tumour which was hidden in the side wall of my Breast area measuring 70mm this was serious. I was then advised that I’d be having a left side mastectomy and full lymph node removal.

Plus, I would need 6 cycles of chemotherapy, then 15 sessions of radiotherapy, then 10 years of hormone treatment.
Needless to say, after my brain had processed one shock after another, I thought right, let’s get on with this!

Over the next 8 months I got through all the necessary surgery and treatments, giving myself the chance to get on with life the best way I could.

I embraced my wigs and never left the house without makeup, I wanted to hold on to the person that most resembled me and this damn disease was not going change that!!!!
My husband and I had only been married 18 months at the time, I was diagnosed and I said to him at the beginning “hey, you didn’t sign up for this, if you want an exit card, I won’t hold it against you”. He said “ Don’t be stupid…we’ll get through this together in the most normal way we can...we’ll call it our new normal“ 😛
We certainly did and maximised every good part as much as possible. He came to every chemo and bloods appointments with me and kept reassuring me that I would be fine, even through my melt downs, of which there were a few. After all I’m not the easiest person at relaxing, especially as I had no control over the situation or the outcomes of the treatments.
But I got through the best way I could, with great friends and my husband. Sadly, we lost my mum 6 years ago to Thyroid cancer and was a very short illness. But in some ways, life has a habit of dealing with things in a certain way and I know she wouldn’t have coped with my illness, we were incredibly close and it would have been too upsetting for her.
So here we are now June 2019, and I’m here to tell my story.
Coming up to my second-year check and having had my reconstruction in January, life is definitely good.
I’m even managing my Tamoxifen hot flashes better. I think of it as doing it’s job, so you keep on flushing those pesky bad cells away, thank you 🙏

Margo Cornish