The date they found the lump, where they were when they found the lump and what they were doing when they found the lump. This information will forever be significant to many women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Heather Glover's response to her diagnosis was to dust herself down and plan her attack on the enemy. Still undergoing treatment, Heather is one of the women spearheading our campaign to make Manchester the most breast-aware city in the UK.
"I’m Heather, Mother of 3, a children’s/adult nurse, I eat well, probably drink a little too much (well did!), I enjoy exercising and looking after myself. Life’s about balance in my book.
I left at home aged 17 and moved to Manchester, which is where I trained as a nurse. Manchester is where I found who I was, my old stomping ground of fun, freedom and independence!
We all understand that there are no guarantees as to how our life will pan out, but we often don’t acknowledge this as it makes us feel vulnerable and uncertain. However, when I was suddenly faced with a life threatening illness I was confronted with all these feelings that I’d rather ignore.
20th June 2017, aged 46, I found a big breast lump that seemed to have appeared from nowhere while I was in the shower. I wasn’t worried though, as a nurse I knew cancer couldn’t appear out of the blue so big and so sudden. WRONG.
But through the course of all the investigations it was becoming very clear that this lump was something to worry about. My surgeon had prepared us well. We knew what he was going to say. Breast cancer. Invasive ductal carcinoma with spread into my lymph – to be accurate! Rich studiously wrote it all down, whilst I corrected the spelling mistakes of his medical terminology! “Right, give me the plan of attack” was my attitude. We needed to get on with getting this OUT of my body.
So I had chemotherapy (which my tumour didn’t respond to), surgery, and finished my radiotherapy in March 2018. All done, I returned to work and started training for the Macclesfield half marathon which I completed in under 2 hours in September raising a fabulous amount for Macmillan.
Then, like history repeating itself, New Year’s Eve, in the shower, a lump in my scar line. I nearly collapsed. I couldn’t believe it. January 2019 was THE most awful month of my life with all the investigations and worry. Triple negative breast cancer had returned. It seems to be a difficult beast to deal with. It was twice as big as the original lump. It was very painful and behaved completely differently despite being a recurrence of the same TNBC.
I started this cancer journey with surgery, and I’m now halfway through a 6 month course of chemotherapy, with more preventative surgery afterwards.
I’m really pleased to be involved in this campaign as so much more education is needed, and it needs to be shared. I have had so many breast lumps over the years since I was about 18, that with hindsight, I’m sure was a precursor to me developing breast cancer. I have two daughters and prevention and prediction are vitally important to future generations and we need to start now.
As I have made my way through; reading, learning, experiencing, talking with others dancing down this same path, I believe there is so much more to healing cancer than current treatment of cutting, poisoning and burning those bad cells away. I’m learning more about nutrition, metabolism, meditation and exercise and it’s important to me that I share what I learn to try and help others.
The BooBee campaign is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more, meet more incredible people, share what we know and help raise awareness amongst women, whilst having fun along the way. People are what has got me through all of this. My close family and friends have been unfailing with their love and support, and I feel like I’m adding another layer of strength and protection by being part of this “BooBee family”.
I’m grateful for every day I have, but I’m greedy and want many more! And I’d do anything to take the continuous worry away from my close family and friends, and by helping with this campaign I am giving them something amazing to be part of and proud of. Positivity is essential. And Manchester is our city, what a fantastic way to celebrate it and highlight it on the map."