Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Cath & Jill's stories

28th October 2021


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this month people all over the world will be showing their support for people affected by breast cancer. To support this, Cath and Jill have shared their battles with breast cancer and the importance of being aware of signs of breast cancer and getting checked out.

THIS IS CATH’S STORY... They say everything comes in threes. July 2019 was a significant month for me, I turned the dreaded 50, got divorced after a 9-year separation and was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer! Two of them were battles I could do nothing about but having breast cancer was a fight of its own! Ignoring a lump for several months was the most irresponsible decision I’ll have to live with for a very long time. Unfortunately, it had spread to my lymph nodes!

However, I was ready to kick cancer’s butt with all my might! I did what I was told and with the amazing support of my two beautiful girls, family & friends I’m here to tell the tale! My only advice facing this horrible disease is to keep a strong positive attitude! I said from the beginning it’s a small blip of my life that I’m meant to go on! Today I feel amazing even with ongoing treatment that I’m having to endure but it’s not going to stop me living my life to the fullest as much as I possibly can. I’ll finish with three things to do… Feel, touch & look. Anything different check it out!!


THIS IS JILL’S STORY... In February 2010 I noticed something wasn’t quite as it should be so I booked in to see my GP, within a couple of days I had a call from the “one stop” breast cancer ward at St Luke’s hospital in Bradford. My appointment was booked within the week, which made it all feel very real and scary. It was confirmed on the day of the appointment that I had breast cancer. I walked away from the hospital feeling like my whole world was falling from under me.

The treatment I received from Bradford NHS was amazing. I had the operation to remove the lump, a full mastectomy and then nine months of chemo. The chemo made me lose my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, making you feel unwell and look like something you don’t really want to. This was the worst time of my treatment. I joined a group called Bosom friends in Bradford which put me in touch with ladies going through the same treatment. This gave me a lot of confidence and the fundraising we did together was extremely rewarding. My family has done the Race for Life – Rachael and her friends ran in PJs and slippers and this has also raised vital funds for breast cancer charities. I have had coffee mornings and one of the pictures is of a former colleague shaving his head in support. I hope my story will give anyone going through it some hope that there is light at the other end. I am now 10 years down the line still living life to the full and I am forever grateful for all the NHS and breast cancer charities that gave me a second chance, if there is anything that doesn’t feel quite right, go and get it checked asap.

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