During treatment I was really bothered about what I was eating but wasn’t sure what I should be eating. I felt that everything was out of my control but knew that I could control what I ate. The doctors said just eat a balanced diet but that wasn’t very useful as I believed that what I ate could have a big impact on how I felt. I decided to get in touch with Breast Cancer Haven and bought their recipe books.
My mum, my friend and my neighbour all told me about Penny Brohn UK. Initially, I was worried about going to Penny Brohn UK because I thought it would be full of ill looking people with cancer. I was seeing a counsellor at the time and the counsellor said: “It might be like that but then again it might not so why don’t you give it a go; you haven’t got anything to lose”.
I had a window between finishing chemotherapy and having surgery so I booked on to the Living Well course at the National Centre with my husband Matt. We loved it! As soon as we arrived we felt at ease and a sense of peace. It was life-affirming to meet people on the course that were in a similar situation and see that there was life beyond a cancer diagnosis. For the first time in a long time we both had a good night’s sleep. It set me up really well for my upcoming surgery.
In February 2018 I had a lumpectomy followed by four weeks of radiotherapy. I found those four weeks really difficult. But I recovered well from surgery and radiotherapy and in June I attended The Approach which was brilliant. Throughout treatment I had been conscious of keeping active and eating well so I really valued the one-to-one time I had with the doctor and nutritionist. They affirmed my belief that I was already doing great things for my recovery such as staying active and eating well. It was great to feel that I was doing the right things and to be able to build on it.
Matt and I really got Penny Brohn and the whole person approach. It was a real life-saver. Together we fully embraced what we learnt and how we could live our life in the way that we want to. The things we have learnt from Penny Brohn UK are great tools for anyone to follow in their life. Penny Brohn helped me enormously in getting back my control. It also took away my fear; fear that I was on my own and fear that I wasn’t handling the situation very well.
I’m now back at work and it is like it never happened; but of course the mental scars stay with you far longer. I’m so glad that I know that the support from Penny Brohn UK is always there and it is a comfort to know that I always the option to return.