Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Living with the C Word


2015 has been a year of promise for me so far. After finishing at my old job, I secured a new job at an award winning law firm as a Marketing Executive. I've been enjoying life and to be honest I've neglected my blog, my last post was a good 6 months ago but it’s not without reason.

2014 was a big celebratory year for me as I graduated with a 2:1 from The University of Huddersfield, turned 21 and managed to secure my first job a month after graduation. My life was running smoothly along and then all of a sudden my 2014 ended with a bang, an unimaginable bang I couldn’t possibly explain without tears drawing to my eyes as I type. My mum, aged 61 was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I was unprepared for the news I received on my lunch break at work. All day I sat worrying at my desk frantically typing away waiting for the good news from my parents. I received a text from my dad saying we need to talk and I just thought it was to confirm that everything was ok.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. I took the call in the back room at my works and as soon as I heard my mum’s broken voice stammering the words ‘I've got breast cancer’. I broke down in uncontrollable tears. I could hear the fear in her voice as she told me the bad news. My life had been turned upside down for the worst.

Of course we hear all these news reports about people getting all kinds of cancer but I never imagined my mum would get it. Breast cancer doesn't run in the family but perhaps I was a bit naive thinking it won’t happen to me or any of my family. If we all listened to the scary statistic that 1 in 5 people get a form of cancer in their lifetime, we would never sleep at night.

The last few months of 2014 were a blurry haze which meant I didn’t feel like doing a blog post, or anything else for that matter. On December 5th my mum had a mastectomy to remove her right breast and the surgeons believe her cancer had been there a good while as all of her lymph nodes had been affected and the cancer growth was 11cm by the time they removed it.

I watched as the gurney wheeled her down to surgery on the Friday morning and I couldn’t help but cry as she left the room. A few hours after surgery, she was losing too much blood and the same day she had to go back down to theatre.

Luckily my mum has made a good recovery after surgery, but this is the toughest road ahead. The odd few people may not need any treatment after the tumour is removed; however my mum has to face 6 months of chemotherapy followed by 3 weeks of radiotherapy.

At the moment she’s had her third treatment of chemotherapy and I’m not going to lie and say it’s great because the side effects of chemo are gruelling. About a month back she started to lose her hair, and she decided to shave it off as a result of this which was traumatic enough.

At first every time I heard the C word my stomach churned into knots, I clammed up and wanted to run away from everyone. I couldn’t bear to face it so I locked my feelings inside and threw away the key.

I’m coming out today about my mum’s illness because I've sat here long enough in silence. I wanted to share my story and tell everyone about my mum’s journey because although she probably doesn't feel it, she’s the lucky one.

I want to urge other women to check their breasts every day for lumps and bumps and don’t hesitate to go to your GP if you do find something or need a second opinion. A mammogram is currently offered for women aged 50-70 every three years. The mammogram didn’t show any signs of her 11cm growth only the biopsy results showed this. I feel her cancer could have been caught earlier if a biopsy was offered to her at her last mammogram appointment three years ago.

24 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you have been through all this, I'm really hope she will be okay.

    I'm here for you if you need to talk.

    xx

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    1. Thanks Jess :) really means a lot xxx

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  2. sorry to hear that you went through the tough times with your mom x

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear everything that you've been through, you're being so strong xxx

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  4. What horrible news to have to deal with, I hope your mum has a smooth recovery. My stepdad had prostate cancer and went through radiotherapy and even though that process only lasted a less than a year before he got the all-clear, it's a long road afterwards to truly become clear.

    I'm running the Race for Life this year again, so hopefully one day our loved ones won't have to go through the uncertainty of cancer treatment.

    Stay strong for your mum, sending all the positive vibes your way lovely! xx

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    1. I'm sorry to hear of your stepdad too hun. I'm glad he's got the all clear. I'm doing the Race for Life too at Heaton Park :) xxx

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  5. I'm so sorry about your mother and wish her a speedy recovery! I fully agree with you about regularly checking for cancer, whether it be breast or others. I'm so glad your mother discovered hers early, so she could get treatment.

    Laura | FASHION, EATS & TREATS

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    1. Yeah it's definitely worth going for regular health checks even if you feel fine. Thank you :) xx

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  6. I am sorry to hear this hunnie and I do wish your Mum a very speedy recovery xx

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  7. Your blog post literally just brought me to tears. I know exactly what you mean about "locking your feelings inside and throwing away the key". I think anyone who has experienced cancer will relate to this.

    Fingers crossed that your mum is coming to the end of what will be a tough but worthwhile journey. At least knowing you're there for her will keep her going. All the best xxx

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    1. Thank you Holly! I'm so glad I've shared this on my blog. I've only told a few people and no one knows at work about the situation as I try to keep my personal life separate. It's so hard when I'm having a shit day at work and no one knows about how I feel! xxx

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  8. So sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. Best wishes to you all.

    Jess xo

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  9. I am very sorry that your family is dealing with this and I commend you for being brave and speaking out about what your mom is going through. I read an article back that I would love to share with you, http://www.womenoffaith.com/2014/09/c-word/, I am praying for your family, your mum, and her recovery. God bless!

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  10. Thank you for sharing this article :) Such a moving article about cancer xx

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  11. I'm really sorry to hear this about your mum Siobhan, but your mum sounds very strong and she's got a gooden in you. This was a lovely post and very true about checking yourself daily. Life goes by too quick to not just quickly check! Lovely post :)

    Xx

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  12. aw sorry to hear this but glad she is on the road to recovery!

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  13. Sorry to hear this sad story, and wishing your mum a speedy recovery - cancer is a right bastard.

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  14. You have been so strong, people go through so much that we don't realise. Very brave to share, wishing you health and happiness for the future. x

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  15. I am so sorry to hear this lovely! I wish you and your mother nothing but the best. If you ever need anything please let me know. xxx

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  16. My 70 year old grandma survived breast cancer - your mum will smash her way through it! Thinking of your family.

    Georgina
    foxonthehunt.com

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