‘Why me?’ Mother speaks out after dealing with breast cancer at 26
- Credit: Archant
'I was diagnosed on March 5, 2015, when I was 26, the same time I found out I was pregnant.
'It started with a lump on the top of my right breast, I went to the doctors twice and was told 'I was too young and it was probably a cyst'.
'After changing my doctors I went back a third time because the lump was getting bigger and you could really see it. They referred me to the hospital, and less than a week later I was at my appointment having an ultrasound.
'The nurse said she could see a milky and cloudy patch but she wouldn't be able to tell what it was until I had a biopsy.
'Next thing I knew I was in a room with my mother being told I had cancer. Why me?
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'If I wasn't sitting down I probably would have just collapsed on the floor.
'My nan had breast cancer two years prior to me finding out I had it. I had only seen her once through her treatment, and it became impossible to see her again with me having treatment in Norwich and her in Birmingham.
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'Throughout my pregnancy I was having chemotherapy, anti-sickness tablets and blood tests. I had my first surgery when I was pregnant, and there were a couple of complications but it ended up being successful.
'While having treatment I was so worried about my baby, I would always ask how things would affect him, but the hospital were focused on making me better.
'My mother, sister, friends and partner were so supportive, my mother came to all my appointments.
'Being pregnant and feeling my baby changed my life in a way I never could have imagined – as soon as I knew he existed everything was about him.
'Since he's been born I have had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction and Keeping Abreast helped me make that choice. I knew I always wanted the surgery, I used to ask my doctor every time I saw him when I could have it. I had to wait until 2017 to have my tissue expander and then I had my final surgery where they put in my implants earlier this year. I always worry that the cancer is going to come back, it's weird because I never used to think like that but now I can't help it.
'The girls who are in this fashion show are amazing, they just know how you feel, you don't have to explain anything to them because they know.
'After cancer, you would think that you would feel ecstatic and over the moon but I felt the opposite, at first I thought I was the only one, but after talking to people at Keeping Abreast I have come to find its pretty normal.
'Not having appointments and people checking up on me didn't feel right, it was like somebody had taken away my security blanket. Since having cancer, I am so much more confident in myself, doing things I wouldn't normally do, such as the fashion show. I'm more body confident and I am much more resilient.
'I still get upset, for example on Wednesday night when I walked down on my own, I started to cry. All my tears fell out, it was so emotional.
'I just want to thank all of my friends and family so much for their support along with Big C, Macmillan and Keeping Abreast.
For more information on Keeping Abreast, visit www.keepingabreast.org.uk