Life as I knew it changed when I heard the words I wasn’t expecting to hear – ‘you have breast cancer’. It was May 2012, I was 31 years old and led a healthy, full and busy life. Surely this doesn’t happen to young people.
I told myself it was all going to be fine. I was scared, but remember thinking that in a year, after a lot of horrible treatment, I’d be back to normal and getting on with life. I was hopeful and naïve, I didn’t know anyone who’d had cancer or cancer treatment, so didn’t know anything about the world I was about to enter.
Almost immediately, the brilliant, but slightly overwhelming NHS roller coaster kicked in, which included oncologist, surgical and fertility appointments, scans, biopsies, blood tests etc.
Dealing with Bad News
Then, almost a week after diagnosis I was told the devastating news that the cancer had metastasised and already spread to my bones, liver and lungs – this was a game-changer. All I can remember from that day was hearing my oncologist repeatedly say ‘do you understand how serious this is? Do you understand how serious this is?’
My breast-care nurse mentioned Penny Brohn UK to me. I’ve always been a believer in holistic healthcare, so felt incredibly lucky to have the Centre on my doorstep. I’d driven past the sign hundreds of times, but now I was going to really know what Penny Brohn was about.