This is my first time entering Race for Life. I have been meaning to enter for years in memory of my Mum, who died from breast cancer aged 51, nearly 17 years ago, but I just never got around to it, I’m ashamed to say. I was diagnosed myself in Aug 2015, with breast cancer, and it’s only now I feel I have enough strength to conquer the course! (I am walking it though - running would require an ambulance!)
I asked a couple of friends from work if they would enter with me and they said yes (a couple couldn’t make the date, but I know they are with us in spirit)! Everyone in the group has been affected by cancer and we have dear family or friends that are currently fighting cancer, some are far too young to be having to deal with it.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to share a bit of my story.
I was sat watching tv a few days before my 41st birthday and my right breast suddenly felt very hot. It was hot to touch, but the rest of me was fine. Due to my Mum having had bc I rang the Doctors the next day and was seen the day after. I knew from the Drs face it wasn’t good, but had to wait for my hospital appointment. Two weeks later I was at the clinic and was sent for a mammogram and then biopsy immediately. I was told it was cancer, but the few days after waiting for my prognosis were horrendous.
I remember laughing when told it was treatable! Telling my children, family and friends was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I had chemotherapy which takes you to levels you never think you would go to, I was so ill with so many side effects. Losing my hair was kind of the easy part!
Unfortunately, they don’t think the chemo worked as effectively as it could have as they found live cancer in my lymph nodes afterwards. I then had a full lymph node clearance and mastectomy.
Radiotherapy was unbelievably tiring. Driving to the hospital and back each day was exhausting. I had to buy food each day just to keep me awake in the car. I had bad burns and whilst my skin has healed I still suffer from pain daily.
I have had more preventative surgery, lost weight and am determined that cancer will not come back in my body.
I take a hormone tablet every day along with a stronger painkiller. I’ve tried without the painkiller, but I do need it. I have a 6 monthly treatment that helps to protect my bones. I’ve only had one so far, but it made me feel like I had the flu. I am classed as high risk for it returning, but my Oncologist said it was a risk, but not a certainty. At this point in time I know I have no cancer in my body! I live with daily pain from radiotherapy and my lymph node surgery. I have lymphoedema in my hand and arm too. I suffer from a poor memory and cannot follow a set of instructions. The hormone tablets can make my joints hurt and they make me so tired. I try and do as much as I can, but know that if I have a busy day I am knackered for the next. I find it very frustrating, but am also grateful to be alive!
Throughout my ‘journey’ (hate that word) I have been lucky enough to have support from my husband and children (they fought like cat and dog a lot of the time so I had done my job in keeping life normal for them lol) and close family. I have had amazing support from my friends and work colleagues (some of whom are fab friends, but they’re all great and so supportive). Without my best friend I would not have got through it at all! While off work we also got a puppy, who is now 2, and whilst a menace has given me the oomph to go out and about.
Like I said at the beginning, we all know someone who has lost their life to cancer and so young too. We know family or friends that are fighting this disease each day and we all hope that raising money will help in the fight against cancer. Please sponsor us. We are raising money as a team and would love to get over £100.