2012 was a year to remember - but not for the right reasons! I attended my first mammogram and was told I would be recalled, which I was, within a week. My husband came with me and I had an ultrasound and biopsies, i was then booked in to the Breast Care Clinic a week later where I was told I had multi focal, invasive lobular breast cancer. I will always remember the date (27.04.15) as whilst I was being diagnosed my son was being rushed to A&E at another hospital (from school) as he had recently been diagnosed with heart problems, I wasn't really listening properly! However, the Breast Care Nurses were great & always explained everything again in detail & answered any questions.
The roller coaster ride began, so many appointments and tests. A mastectomy followed in June 2012, an ANC in July 2012 and FEC-T chemo from Aug - Nov 2012. That was memorable too as we were in a restaurant trying to celebrate my birthday and the hospital kept calling trying to decide if I would start my chemo the following day. (I'd had to have a tooth extracted a few days earlier) - really not my year! I started Tamoxifen in the December but after consultation declined a radiotherapy trial but started a Metformin trial in January 2013. This really didn't agree with my system but I persevered and am still on it now.
Losing my hair was upsetting, it was coming out in clumps (not a good look) so I got my son to cut it off (we made it fun, I said it would be the only time I would give him scissors and tell him to cut off my hair). Then we shaved it. So much better. Bless him, he was 10 years old and was so helpful and understanding. My husband was my rock; how he coped with work, school runs & looking after me and everything I'll never know.
"I feel lucky to live in a country where we have the NHS"
In June 2013 three generations of my family and my BFF completed the Race for Life dressed as pink fairies, and my son and three grandsons walked alongside us too - all crossing the finishing line together. Another big day in many ways as I'd decided to go 'commando' and do without the wig from that day onwards. My lovely Dad bought me my wig as he knew how upset I was about losing my hair.
It was a long wait but I eventually got my DIEP flap reconstruction in March 2014, almost 2 years later. I had a few problems with wound infection but was pleased with the outcome. Lipo and nipple construction were done in December 2014, followed by areola tattoo in May of this year.
So, now I feel whole again. Onwards and upwards. After feeling like I was on the scrap heap I've managed to get myself a new job and life is beginning to feel more 'normal' - whatever that may be. I feel lucky to live in a country where we have a NHS, which has offered me fantastic treatment which is still ongoing.
I never had a lump, so what I will say is please do go and have a mammogram and if you notice anything out of the ordinary ( and all I had was breathlessness if I laid on my left side, which I ignored), then don't feel silly - go and have it checked out. And look at yourself; once diagnosed I could see a slight dimpling too.