A two-time breast cancer survivor
My connection to breast cancer is very personal – I am a two time breast cancer survivor and have family and friends who have also been diagnosed.
My first thoughts when I was diagnosed were for my family. Back in 1993, the survival rates weren’t as good as they are now, and I was worried about how they would handle the news.
The second time I was diagnosed, in 2000, I couldn’t face telling my parents, so I bailed and got my brother to tell them instead. I felt so guilty for the stress I was causing them. This time I also had more support from people around me throughout my diagnosis and treatment.
The first time round I had a lumpectomy and axillary clearance, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy and tamoxifen. Then, after my second diagnosis, I had a lumpectomy, mastectomy with LD flap, and chemotherapy. I then had a second mastectomy and reconstruction. There were a few attempts of trying to make things look better but the outcome wasn’t great due to the previous radiotherapy.
Life after cancer
Having turned 50 in April, I wanted to say thank you for the last 20 + years of my life. There was a point when I honestly didn’t think I would make it to 30, let alone 50! It has been a long journey, but I want to prove that there is life after cancer.
I have always been a keen supporter of research into breast cancer – it’s the only way to stop this disease. This disease has taken some good friends and family and it has such a huge impact on patients’ lives. It needs to be conquered and I believe research is the key to this happening.
Wear it pink is a great way to raise awareness of breast cancer and is something that everyone can join in with. This year I’ll be wearing pink at work to raise awareness in my office and raise vital funds for breast cancer research.