From Treatment to Smiles

Its often a miss-conception that a Dream or wish for a family needs to be something life longed or huge. Barbados, Disney Land, swimming with dolphins or more. When in reality, when faced with something such as Cancer, the mental and physical impact, the strain on all the family and the worry. Sometimes it’s just something that gives you the time to share something normal with your loved ones, to be together and make each other smile……
This is Lindsay’s story, in her own words:

“My name is Lindsay, 41. I’m mum to Morgan 20, Finlay 14 and Olly 7. We live with my partner Joe, dog, cat, guinea pig and fish! We’re your every day local family.
Life was ‘normal’ until just before Christmas 2018, when I accidently found a lump in my right breast. I attempted to put it to the back of my mind till after Christmas so we could enjoy the Christmas festivities. The day after Boxing Day I made an appointment to see my GP. She was very reassuring and said it was a moveable lump but referred me to the Breast Clinic at Bassetlaw Hospital.
On the 7th January 2019 I went back to work at the school I work at in Retford. This was also the same day as my appointment at the Breast Clinic. My work friends told me that I would be fine, they had, had cysts so mine would be the same. When I got to the hospital, I was given a mammogram, followed by an ultrasound and a biopsy.
I was called in to see the consultant, where there was a breast care nurse sat. I instantly knew it was bad news, I’ve seen enough films to know that, when there is an extra person in the room, it’s not good! The consultant told me it was highly likely to be cancerous, and there were two lumps, Testing came back and it was confirmed.
I didn’t know what to feel at that time, my mum was with me and I felt I needed to stay strong for her. Something I have done throughout my ‘journey’ staying strong for those around me. I told my partner and my daughter but didn’t want to tell the boys until a treatment plan was in place and I knew what was in store for us.
A further meeting was made with consultant, where I would be told I definitely needed to have chemotherapy as the lumps were HER2 positive. This was a shock as in my head it would be surgery and radiotherapy and back to work in 6 months!
I eventually told the boys, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I promised that life would be as normal as possible and I would be fine, what else can you say!
My first chemotherapy session was 15th February, it was very scary but the staff in the Chatsfield Suite at Doncaster Royal Infirmary were lovely. It was around 15 days later when I started to see the first visual side effects, and I started to lose my hair. I made Joe shave it off, joking that I couldn’t commit any crimes as my DNA would be everywhere. It didn’t really bother me losing my hair and was quite happy to go out bald!
All in all, the chemo wasn’t as bad as I made myself think it would be. Don’t get me wrong it was awful and the first week after the sessions I was really ill. I had to have an overnight stay at Western Park after my first session due to very low white blood cell count and was put on IV antibiotics. I was able to live a normal-ish life for the 2 weeks before the chemo was due again.
Chemo finished on the 31 May, thank goodness! Surgery was then scheduled for the 23 July, this was to be a lumpectomy and sentinel node removal. I had already been told that the chemotherapy had worked wonders. The op was a success and when I went back to see the consultant, he told me he had got clear margins and the lymph nodes he took were clear, what a relief that was!

I started radiotherapy on the 23 September and had 23 sessions which ended on the 23 October. Treatment was finally over, so much for my back to work in 6 months theory. There have been ups and downs along the way and I still have to have injections every 3 weeks till June 2020 as well as take Tamoxifen every day for 5 years, but the hard part is done! There will always be that niggling feeling/fear that it will return but I will enjoy my life and live it to the full! The love I’ve experienced from my friends and family has been amazing and wouldn’t have gotten through the last year without them!
On the 18 October, while my treatment was still ongoing, I received a message from Clynton at EvesTrust to tell me that my friend Julie had written to them and they would like to send us away as a family. He told me that Julie from the Trust would be in touch soon to speak to me. Unfortunately, my partner was unable to come due to work, but on the 11th November myself, my boys and my mum were off to Bridlington for 4 nights. To me it was just about enjoying something together after a tough year on us all.
I was expecting it to only be a weekend stay, but the Trust had arranged for 5 days. I was so excited, the boys perhaps more so as they get to miss school! The weather forecast was rain, rain and more rain but we wouldn’t let that impact our time, plus I’d at least know what to pack!!
So how did it go? A fab time was had by all in Bridlington even though it was freezing!! The guest house was lovely, and the owners were amazing and so helpful. We managed to cram lots of activities in for the boys, they especially loved the rock climbing and they ended up doing that twice. We went swimming, went for lots of walks, went bowling, spent a small fortune on the 2p slots and even managed a trip to Scarborough to see Peter Barlow from Corrie switch on the Christmas Lights.
It will be 5 days that we won’t forget for one reason or another, the feelings we felt, after such a year, were special. I would like to say a massive thanks to EvesTrust for enabling us to get away as a family, an excellent charity making a difference to families like mine. Thank you.x

#DreamMaker #HowCanYouHelp #EvesCommunity #Charity

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