Cancer effects more than just your body
I found the breast cancer lump myself. I was supporting a friend at the time who had Breast Cancer, and I suppose it was in my mind. My left breast had been feeling tight and uncomfortable, it was May 6th, 2012 Early May Bank Holiday. I examined myself and kept finding quite a big lump, the size of an average egg. That Bank Holiday was stressful as I couldn't get to the GP until the next Tuesday so I was really worried.
The following week I had a biopsy at the local hospital, which revealed a Stage 3 aggressive tumour.
My husband Jamie was very supportive, but occasionally got stressed and felt so helpless as he said he didn’t really know how to help me. He felt confused and upset. But Jamie is very practical, and any signs of things not being right, he would be on the phone to the hospital, my GP or breast care nurse. When I really wasn't coping too well, he would immediately leave work and come home.
While I was undergoing treatment I had an idea about developing a support group. I called it Bay Tree, and it gave me something to focus on whilst I was going through treatment. Actually only 6 days after diagnosis I started putting pen to paper and planning it. Bay Tree helped us both focus on the charity instead of zoning in on my issues.
Bay Tree was successful, and women found us and spent time in our peaceful gardens.
But eventually I suffered ‘’burn out”, trying to do too much, working and looking after myself after my treatment ended. However, Bay Tree is still Jamie’s little baby that exists on Facebook, which I think is great. Both Jamie and I work for the same disability company and we are always talking about my experiences which have helped fellow workers.
I just want to add, I have a very strong attachment to Folkestone and District MIND, and they have been extremely supportive to me, especially over the last 6 months. I almost suffered a breakdown back in May, - pressure of work, struggling with health issues, and my anxiety and depression which I sort of coped with in the past, was becoming worse because of the menopause which I was going through due to Tamoxifen. I feel that if my emotional, psychological state is good I am able to cope with my breast cancer issues tons better