International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 56 - Page 41

I don’t know what made me do it. To this day, I still don’t know why. I like to think it was my beautiful mum guiding me. She passed away 3 years ago from cancer. Something made me do a breast examination that night. Lying in bed, alone, watching television, it suddenly occured to me, that I hadn’t done an examination for a few months and so I did one. Everything felt normal, apart from a small hard lump close to my nipple, which I realised I hadn’t felt before. By coincidence, I had an appointment with the doctor for a couple of days time and unnerved to find anything, I kept feeling it to see if I was imagining it! The doctor confirmed the presence of a lump and said “Your age puts you in a grey area, if you were older, I would assume it was breast cancer” I was 43. I was to be referred to the Fast Track breast clinic at the local hospital. BAM! As if I had been hit by a train, there it was, the C word. I don’t remember driving home, but I do remember crying, I was so shocked. I received an appointment for 8th May 2013, 10 days time. Waiting for the appointment was very difficult. The worry and the fear of the unknown was excrutiating. Finally, the day arrived for me to attend the clinic. Fast Track clinics are fantastic in that you find out there and then what you are dealing with. You may have to wait a few hours, but it is so much better than waiting weeks for results. I saw a doctor first of all, who examined me and said I needed a Mammogram, the results of which, would determine which further tests, if any, I would need. I then had to have an Ultrasound scan. My Consultant came into the room and said the Ultrasound had shown evidence of “Microcalcification” which was a sign of early breast cancer and that I would need a needle biopsy. He performed the test by using a needle to collect cells from the lump and I was then given a bleep and told to go and get a coffee for half an hour and that they would bleep me when the results were back. they can do something, I didn’t really consider the impact of losing a breast until later. I had the Mastectomy on 26th June 2013. The only time I cried, was when I came round from the anaesthetic and felt the right side of my chest. It was totally flat! They had really done it! I stayed in hospital for a couple of 30 minutes later, I was called days and then I went home. An back.........I had breast cancer! I appointment on 10th July 2013 was stunned. It was a very surreal confirmed that the cancer had moment. My two greatest fears, not spread to the Lymph and I was were losing my Mum and being given the all clear! diagnosed with cancer and now An incredible feeling. both had happened to me in 2 The breast nurses fitted me years! for a prosthesis, which I wear I was told that I would need comfortably and I haven’t surgery and was booked in for considered reconstruction yet, a lumpectomy on 29th May although it is available to me, 2013. Going home and telling should I decide to have it. my loved ones that I had cancer was extremely hard. As much as My body image hasn’t been I wi shed that my mum and dad affected. I seem to have accepted were there to support me, I am so the loss pretty well, in fact, I saw glad I didn’t have to tell them that a photograph of myself the other day, that I took the night before my I had cancer. mastectomy and my first thought I had the surgery on 29th May as was “It doesn’t look like me”. a day patient and it went well. I saw the Consultant for the results For now, I am concentrating on a couple of weeks later and was getting well, staying well and given some more shocking news. living. It is a privilege to be able I had mainly non-invasive cancer, to face your greatest fears and known as Ductal Carcinoma in come out the other side. I never Situ or DCIS, but I also had a 3mm believed that I would be able to invasive tumour, which could do that. That has been a very spread. He hadn’t been able positive thing for me. I have been to get all the cancer during the so incredibly lucky and cannot lumpectomy and meetings with praise the medical staff and our the Oncologists had confirmed that wonderful NHS highly enough. I should be offered a Mastectomy. Whoever or whatever made me do I was going to lose my breast! an examination in bed that night, My first thought was that at least thank you.....you saved my life. The International Lifestyle Magazine is about positivity and this beautiful story from Rebecca Sharp captures how we can turn every situation into a positive. If you would like to contact Rebecca you can do so via our website and we will pass on your details. www.internationallifestylemagazine.com