Mother’s Day is always special and perhaps particularly so if you have overcome a life-threatening illness such as breast cancer. Joanne is a mum who’s had breast cancer and is helping to support the work of Breakthrough, the breast
We are delighted to share Joanne’s story with you and to highlight the fantastic work done by Breakthrough.
1. Can you tell me about how you were diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in situ) and your symptoms?
“I felt something on the top of my right breast which didn’t feel anything like a lump as I would have envisaged and as I had been working out a lot in the gym with weights I presumed it was muscle that had appeared! After 6 months or so of me being very aware of it and thinking about it I decided to go to my GP to check it out just to be safe. My GP referred me straight away to a breast specialist. I then underwent a mammogram, MRI scan and two biopsies when I was finally diagnosed with DCIS of the right breast.”
2. How did you feel after you were given your diagnosis?
“Shocked! Scared! Sad!!”
3. How old was your son Harry when this happened and how did you deal with it in addition to being such a new mum?
“Harry was nearly 2 yrs old. I just got on with it, not much choice really. I decided after lots of tears, worry, stress that I had to do whatever necessary to deal with it and stay healthy for my son.”
4. What does this Mother’s Day mean to you now you’ve finished treatment and are on the mend?
“Hope, happiness & relief. The most important thing in my life is to be a good mum and to be there to watch my little boy grow up.”
5. How important do you think it is to be breast aware?
“So so so so so important! I can’t stress enough the important of checking your breasts. It’s not difficult, you just have to get to know them, the lumps and bumps. So if something appears, you recognise it and can check it out, before it (if it is anything) turns sinister! Prevention is the best cure!”
6. What advice would you give to any women going through something similar to what you?
“Try to be positive, brave and strong. If you think these things it will help. Even in your darkest hour, know that you will be OK! If like me you catch it early, there is preventative treatment that can save your life. Get a second opinion if you’re not happy with your surgeon. Talk to your family and friends. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are allowed to cry, moan, and worry (you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t) but just know there is light at the end of the tunnel, you will come out the other side.”
This Mother’s Day, help raise vital funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer to stop women dying from the disease. Request your free fundraising pack today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08080 100 200.