‘Given a Chance’ – Breast Cancer Awareness

The picture shows Rachel & her daughter Kim

Having happily worked in Happy Threads for the last 3 years and being in and out of hospitals as a business person, I was shocked to discover I would be in and out of hospitals again but for very different reasons, this was going to be a whole lot different from selling medical uniforms.  Just coming up to my 45th birthday in July, I was given the devastating news that I had breast cancer.   I was in total shock as this wasn’t in my family, I had also considered myself relatively healthy as I ran and ate a low fat diet as I had familial Hypercholstolemia and had to take statins since my 30’s I was always looking after my heart.  (My father and all his brothers died of heart attacks and some of my cousins).  I never did regular breast checks as I thought it just wasn’t something that I would get…

I found a lump in my right breast late June when I was getting ready for a family cycle day with my husband and 7yr. old daughter.  I instantly knew this lump was not normal and was at the Doctors doorstep on the Monday morning.   The very same afternoon I was in the Beacon Woman’s clinic having a mammogram, ultra sound and biopsy, I knew by the doctors that this was being taken very seriously. Unfortunately, my first biopsy test which I had to wait a few tough days for came back inconclusive and I had to get another biopsy done and wait again.  These were the most frightening days that I ever remember in my life.   I have to thank the nurses in the Beacon who were brilliant and really helped myself and my husband cope with the enormous shock.
 
When I received the final news that I had breast cancer and was told that I had to get the works as my tumour although not spread was quite large and that I would need the full 6 chemo sessions, surgery, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy and that it would be a full years treatment with 5 years on hormone treatment after.
 
To be honest as soon as I found out at this stage it hadn’t spread, I had promised myself that I was one of the lucky ones that I had been given a chance with today’s modern medicines to fight this.  This was all the more important for me personally as I had spent years trying to have a child and fought hard and after 4 failed ivf attempts and  6 years waiting to adopt a little girl from China I had succeeded.  Meeting our daughter and being a mum for the first time was the happiest moment in my life that I had fought for many many years and I am not going to give this up! – This image of our first meeting is what keeps my spirit strong today.   My daughter and I are extremely close and she definitely helps me remain positive and puts a smile on my face even on the tough days.
 
My husband and mother are tremendous support as are all my close family and friends.  I really do have to thank them in their support.  You can’t do this alone.
 
I am still in the early days now just after chemo 3 as I opted for chemo first as my tumour was quite large to try to shrink it for better removal.  I hope to be getting surgery before Christmas all going well.  I cannot tell you how much I would urge women now to check their breast regularly as it can happen to anyone and isn’t just a family thing and please don’t be afraid .   I just want to say I’m doing okay, todays modern medicine and technology is great.  Yes there are definitely ups and down and your very limited in what you can do for the first half of the treatment.  But this is my new Journey in life and I await the outcome and look forward to what it is that I will learn along the way….
Yours staying positive.
 
Rachel
p.s. Thanks to Daniel and all at Happythreads for their support it really does make a difference.

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