I had always been good at regularly checking my breasts but in April 2017 I decided to stop for a couple of months because I was getting married in the June and thought that if I found anything it would spoil my wedding and all my plans. After the wedding I started checking again and in the July I found a lump.
I went to the GP who examined me and wasn’t happy so sent me to the hospital. The consultant at the hospital examined me and said they weren’t hugely worried but asked me to have an ultrasound. The radiographer who was performing the ultrasound then said that I needed to have a mammogram and biopsy. This came as a huge shock as I wasn’t expecting anything to be wrong. The shock was so much that I fainted during the mammogram. The consultant explained that it wasn’t as straight forward as they had initially thought and asked me to come back the following week for the results. The week between appointments was horrendous.
When I returned to the hospital I was told that I had a grade 2 hormone positive breast cancer. I was shocked by the results but felt ok as the doctors had already got a treatment plan and I thought “ok – I can do this”. The doctor explained that they were still waiting for a third result but thought it was likely to be negative so they booked me in for surgery two weeks later.
A few days later I was contacted by the hospital to say that the HER2 result had come back and unfortunately it was positive and it wasn’t good news. I was told that I would need chemotherapy before surgery. I think this was the worst point for me as I had been given a plan that I had come to terms with and now the plan was all being thrown up in the air.
In September 2017 I started chemotherapy which continued until just after Christmas. Most of the time I felt relatively well during the treatment except when I had neutropenic sepsis which was terrifying. At 39 years old I was most often the youngest person in the hospital and it felt really isolating.
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.