A Dream Conclusion For A Brave Fight

Even the bravest of us all will feel the impact of coming face to face with the dreaded Cancer. The stories may differ, and the treatments will carry their own obstacles, but one thing is for sure, the time we spend together with friends, family or loved ones can be essential, before, during and certainly afterward. The following to Rebecca’s story, written in her own words:

“Breast Cancer at 43? That’s not what you expect – so it took a while to ‘sink in’ when the consultant said the word ‘cancer’ out loud. 

Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always been a fan of using sunbeds, but it’s what actually could’ve just saved my life!! In November 2021, I was laid on the sunbed in my local salon when I noticed a lump in my left breast, that I hadn’t noticed before. Do I leave it and see how I get on? Do I phone the GP? I got in touch with my GP (telephone appointment due to good old Covid) and they asked me to come down to the surgery the same day. I went down, expecting to be told it was just nothing and maybe a fatty lump, but the GP made a referral to the Jasmine Centre at DRI for as soon as possible. A few weeks later, I found myself sat in the consultant’s office waiting to be examined. I kept on thinking “Oh it’ll be nothing” but they wanted to do a biopsy and a scan straightaway, and I started to realise perhaps it wasn’t nothing. The consultant asked me to come back the following week and assured me it would be fine. I went back the week after (by myself as I wasn’t expecting any bad news) and I literally nearly fell through the floor when they explained that I had been diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) in my left breast and would need surgery to remove it, possibly followed by radiotherapy. I had to call my mum to come through to the hospital as I was struggling with the shock of the news. 

Fast forward to January 2022 and I had the surgery to remove the 10cm DCIS. I also had surgery to my right breast to make it more equal in size as a significant part of my left breast had had to be removed to get a clear margin. I started to relax as I thought an end was in sight, but unfortunately when they sent away the tissue they had removed, they found grade 2 invasive cancer cells within the DCIS. As a result of this, my surgeon said further surgery would be needed to remove two lymph nodes from my armpit to check for any cancerous cells that may have spread. I had a second surgery in February 2022. 

When my results came back, my first lymph node was positive, but the second one was negative, so the cancer had spread but only to the first lymph node (caught it in time!!). After recovering from surgery, I was referred to Weston Park for radiotherapy. I was lucky that I only needed five sessions (daily Mon-Fri) and the staff at Weston Park were all so lovely. In June 2022, I finally rang that bell to mark the end of my treatment. 

I’m recovering now and battling the hormone drugs and fatigue… but I’m here!!!! So, ladies (and gents) if you find a lump, get it checked out immediately. Don’t wait!!

When you’re being treated for cancer, you seem to run on adrenaline and just keep going. Once the treatment stops and you’re recovering, it hits like a bolt from the blue – What just happened to me? How did I survive that? What’s going to happen now? I’d like to say a huge thank you to EvesTrust for the family break – it was just what we needed and helped me so much. We had an amazing week in Chapel St Leonard’s. The kids loved the amusements, and we got chance to spend some much-needed quality time together. You can’t measure how important that can be. Thank You”

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