I try to stay myself, while also being a woman going through secondary breast cancer
First, I am a mummy to Eliza and Albie, wife to Richard and design teacher in a secondary school in Hertfordshire. I like to think I am creative, impulsive and a good friend.
I do karaoke in the car on school runs; in the moment, I think I sound like Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, but to anyone else would sound nothing like them! Eeekk!
Like all mummies, I am passionate about my little humans. Eliza is eight, Albie is four and both of them are my world. Throughout this ordeal, they’ve been the reason I function and try to keep life as normal as possible. They have been my rock, as I try to stay as much their mummy as a woman going through breast cancer. They always come before cancer.
It rocked my family, but it didn’t stop us
I have always been aware of breast cancer from a young age, with my mum having battled with breast cancer twice. In May of 2019, I found a lump in my left breast and was quickly referred to my local breast unit for examination. I was found to have two lumps in my breast which were biopsied and scanned. My oncologist confirmed that it was cancerous and was found in my lymph nodes as well.
I started a course of eight rounds of Chemotherapy and responded well. I rung the bell and left the day unit prepared for the next step, surgery. The day before my planned DIEP reconstructive surgery, the breast unit called me to raise concerns that a recent scan had shown a cancerous spot on my pelvic bone. Later scans confirmed that I now had Secondary Breast Cancer, and although it was treatable it was not curable at present. This was a life changing moment that rocked our family but not one that we would let stop us.
I’m now on regular hormone treatment, which in recent scans showed that the cancer had not spread and with stable results, which was an amazing feeling. We are hopeful this form of treatment will be long-lasting and allow me to maintain a good quality of life.
The nurses on my oncology unit at The Williams Day Unit in Harlow are inspirational. They know every patients name, create unbreakable bonds with their patients and make a difficult situation bearable on every visit. I was terrified to start my chemotherapy treatment but all the nurses on my unit made me feel comfortable, cared for and listened to at every step.
I want to show my children a positive aspect of this horrible disease
My children and family have been such a support it was amazing to share in that experience with them and show my children a positive aspect of this horrible disease. Wear it pink is a fantastic platform to raise awareness and encourage more people to check their breasts and ensure people catch signs of the disease in an early stage.
Wearing it pink is vital for people like me
Raising awareness and money is vital for people like me; to be able to access new treatments and trials through the incredible research that they’re able to achieve.
So, wear it pink. Have fun, and find another reason to laugh - these are two vital skills when battling this illness, and only make a bad situation better.
Feeling inspired to wear it pink? You can register today for your fundraising pack and join Jennifer on October 23rd.