Monday, 26 October 2015

Navigating Breast Cancer at 24

Today’s post is from one of our younger beneficiaries who has kindly agreed to share her story. Josephine, 26, from London suffered awful reactions to nearly all the treatments she underwent but has since found many complementary approaches to support her recovery.

I was diagnosed at 24 years old in the spring of 2014, May to be exact, following an operation to remove what they thought was something called an “Intraductal Papilloma”.

I initially found the lump on Valentine’s Day, or rather my partner did. It was a very small pea-size lump under my nipple. I made a GP appointment soon after and got referred to the breast unit at The Royal Free Hospital. They did a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy and told me that I didn't have cancer but they wanted to remove the lump.

They told me I should celebrate! How wrong they were… and how sad it was, because I did celebrate and thought that would be the end of it.

On the surgery day I was then told they needed to “re-check the tissue”. Low and behold, two weeks later I was called in early and told that it was cancer; grade 2, invasive lobular carcinoma, highly oestrogen and progesterone positive.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Finding the Support I Needed - My Breast Cancer Story

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Lorraine, 49, from the South East was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and found much needed support in Yes to Life.

One morning in June 2011 I looked in the mirror and noticed that my breast had an indentation running from under my arm towards the centre. I felt around and found a hard lump, then made an appointment to see my GP. After having a scan and biopsy at the local hospital I was called back to the consultant’s office.

He told me that it was cancer. My world suddenly collapsed, I was devastated and in complete shock. I was told that it was grade 3 and an aggressive cancer that needed to be removed the following week by a small operation. They also wanted to remove some lymph nodes to assess the prognosis.

I can’t tell you the fear and helplessness you feel when you are diagnosed with cancer. I had to try and explain it to my daughters, an 18 year old and a 10 year old. At 45 I considered myself still fairly young and I lived on my own with my 10 year old. My wider family were unsupportive and I felt very alone.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Breast Cancer, Metamorphosis and Me

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Amanda, 43, from East Sussex has found a range of complementary approaches really beneficial and wants to share her experiences with others.

I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in March 2014, the day after my birthday.

I was alone when I got the biopsy results. Afterwards I remember walking past my husband and mum and their faces glaring at me, waiting for a response. I calmly got dressed and told them very rationally that I had breast cancer and it was at a fairly late stage.

Looking back at that time now I remember being so numb and shocked. I felt so sorry for my body. I remember looking myself in the eye as I was getting dressed and feeling it so vividly.  I joked around with the staff as my biopsy was taken, they told me I was a ‘tough cookie.’

I told my family I was under no circumstances having chemotherapy or radiotherapy but they thought I should pursue both natural and conventional medicine. I had heard the positive stories of Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John from my mum (bless her) but deep inside I had already made my decisions.

I had a lumpectomy in May 2014, then a mastectomy at the beginning of August.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Regaining Control - My Breast Cancer Journey

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Laurence, 53, from South East London underwent extensive treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Whilst suffering gruelling side effects, she began to explore other options that could support her recovery.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014. I had noticed a thickening of the skin in my breast, but no lump as such just a change of texture. I had been having yearly mammograms for the past 20 years due to family history but they had always been clear. Both my mum and her sister had breast cancer and their mother, my grandmother, died of colon cancer aged 54.

My GP referred me for tests immediately. At the hospital, I noted that I was being processed completely differently. Previously when I was given a mammogram, I would be sent home and told to wait for a letter. On this day, I had a mammogram, a scan and four biopsies, followed by a meeting with the consultant and breast cancer nurse who invited me to the Macmillan unit the following week to talk about the results. It was obvious there was something wrong.