I discovered a lump on my left breast one morning whilst getting ready for work. I made an appointment that day with the GP, after an examination she told me she was going to refer me to have further tests but that it would be unlikely to be anything serious. Two weeks later I had an ultrasound, mammogram and lump biopsy and that day I was told it was likely to be breast cancer.
After another few weeks of waiting I went to get the results. There, I was told ‘you have breast cancer in your left breast and it has spread to the lymph nodes. The cancer is oestrogen positive and is a grade 3 cancer’. They explained I would have chemotherapy and surgery and that I would meet with another to discuss my treatment plan.
After my first treatment, I was tested for any genetic reasons for my cancer. About a month later it was confirmed that I have BRCA 2 gene mutation, a shock considering no one in my family has ever had cancer. My parents and sister were tested for the gene, with my mum and sister coming back as positive – another shock to us all. My mum then had a procedure to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, and my sister had risk reducing surgery in the form of a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
My diagnosis resulted in me being able to save my mum and sister from going through what I had to.
To anyone going through a diagnosis or treatment: you will be bombarded with opinions and advice but the most important thing to remember is to do what is right for you. Be kind to yourself, sleep when you need to, eat when you feel you can, go for a walk if you feel up to it and don’t be afraid to ask for support from loved ones.
I want to share my experience with the world to try and take away the myths and fears cancer can bring. I wanted to represent the young women affected by breast cancer, to show you can have a life after cancer and it does not always mean life is over. My support is also a way to show appreciation and gratitude to those doing the research and supporting the charity.
You can show your support to by wearing it pink on 18 October to raise awareness, money to fund research and support for those living with and surviving cancer. It does not matter if your event is large or small every penny raised will help fund vital research. Ask for a fundraising pack and get inspired. Have a pink cake sale, pink slumber party, pink pub quiz, it could be anything at all!