It's a Matter of Survival - Manchester, UK

At 36 with two boys age 5 and 2 years with a...

At 36 with two boys age 5 and 2 years with a healthy non smoking rarely drinking lifestyle it was life changing for me to discover a cancerous lump in my breast in the summer of 2011. Living as a UK expat in Dubai I was staying with my family on vacation when I spent a day at the specialist Christie breast clinic in North Manchester.

Finding a lump which turned out to camcerous and 5cm in diameter was one thing, but being told it had also reached many of my lymph nodes on the same side was quite another. I am lucky (strangely enough) in that despite these findings I appeared to have felt the lump in the nick of time and full body scans revealed no spread elsewhere. I was told I would need a lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy but doctors were yet to decide which order. I put all my trust in them when 2 weeks later I was being pumped with the strongest dose of chemotherapy possible.

Five months have passed since that fateful day, I survived chemo thanks to positive thinking and my wonderful husband although at times it was pretty unpleasant. So no I'm facing surgery and more decisions. My breasts which pre children and breast feeding were a bearable 34DD are now a rather droopy and unsightly 34F. With the tumour gone thanks to remarkable and unexpected chemotherapy results my choice is less invasive surgery or the full reduction. Having understood from day 1 that a lumpectomy would reduce the size of the breast I'm opting for the more invasive surgery on both sides - while I'm under the knife I figure I might as well get the job done properly! I also believe it will be easier for me to examine my breasts in future and spot anything untoward -

I had a large lump in a large breast which had gone undetected because of my breast size. I'm booked in for 23 jan with my pre op tomorrow. I'm not scared, just anxious about the pain, but I am very positive about getting new boobs as a result! One final message for today to everyone reading EXAMINE YOUR BREASTS REGULARLY and if you feel anything unusual get it checked out. Please tell your friends too! I called my doctor the next day and any delay my prognosis could have been very different. Take care everyone.

Christie Hospital Manchester

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Comments (1)

What an amazing story! I'm so glad that the chemo has worked so well for you! And the message for breast exams is a great one that many of us don't take seriously enough.
As for the pain...don't let that make you too nervous. For me the pain was inconsequential. I've had abdominal surgery and this was no where near as painful. Since they don't cut through any muscles it doesn't hurt to laugh, cough, sneeze, etc. I took pain meds the day after surgery and then switched to Tylenol. I was more tired than uncomfortable.
Good luck!
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