Wendy

My storm in a D cup started in January 2015. Whilst showering, I felt a hard area in my right breast. I shouted my husband , and asked him to have a feel as he was obviously the expert ! He confirmed that this was something he had never noticed before. Off to the GP I went. On the 18th February 2015, following a mammogram, ultrasound scan and biopsy, I sat in a room with my best friend, Laura and the fabulous Miss Saad (Consultant Breast Surgeon) who informed me that I had 3 tumours in my right breast, as well as a spread to my lymph nodes. My first thoughts...my children, who at the time were 19 and 8. I wanted to live to see them grow, I wanted to be around to become an old woman. Four days later, I had a radical right mastectomy. I had 7/15 lymph nodes affected with cancer. My next step was chemotherapy. I had worries about this as my husband works away and I was concerned about my ability to care for my daughter who was still at home with me. I had fantastic support, both emotionally and practically from my friends, school mums, colleagues and family. I will be forever grateful for all the support, laughs, hugs and care these people shown to me. Chemotherapy didn’t go as planned. After my first dose of EC, I was rushed into hospital two weeks after, this was after waking up in the early hours with horrendous chest pain. This was the worse part of my journey, as at the time there was just myself and my daughter at home, my son was at university and my husband was working abroad. I was admitted to the coronary care unit with a suspected heart attack. My sister in law came to stay with my daughter and my husband rushed home to be with us. After 8 days I was discharged. My heart had been attacked by the chemo, I had Myopericarditis. No more chemo for me until my health settled. After a two month break, I went on to have a less severe form of chemotherapy and three weeks of radiotherapy. My hair fell out after the first EC, it started to grow back during the time I was off treatment, and then it fell out again !! I am a community mental health nurse. I was off work for 18 months. I realise the importance of caring for your own well being. Right from the start my mantra was ‘All will be well’ and I truly believe this. As my cancer was hormonal. I have had a radical hysterectomy. I’ve put on weight due to the menopause and Tamoxifen. I have lymphedema in my right arm and I have a new normal. Being breast aware is so important. I caught mine early. I dread to think what the outcome would have been if I had ignored the hard area that had appeared. Cancer has changed my appearance and my life but not all for the worse. I have made so many friends during this experience, who will be friends for life. I challenge myself in new ways now and I am looking forward to showing of my hormonal stomach and one boob during the Figleaves catwalk on 5th Oct 2019. Bring it on....

Margo Cornish