Hi, I’m Emma and I’m 28 from the West Midlands. I am a mum to a 2-year-old beauty Arlo and a wife- to-be to my fiancé, Tyler. I work full time as a Sales Administrator in the Motor Trade as well as running my own charity, offering free care packages to cancer patients that are having chemotherapy. I also have my own small business selling Crystals and Jewellery Mooski Moon, which I started just this year.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Your diagnosis:I found my breast lump in the shower around Christmas 2019 I knew something wasn’t right straight away and the area felt rather tender (potentially from all my prodding) I couldn’t actually get in to see my GP for about a week as I kept missing the available appointments however I begged and pleaded with the receptionist who got me in that day, I then got fast tracked to a breast clinic for scans and biopsies as on scans there was a couple more I couldn’t feel.
How did you feel when you were told?Initially I was devastated, I was with my mom and dad at the time they came for moral support, I guess we all thought at 28 it was borderline impossible, so it was definitely a shock. I was diagnosed triple negative breast cancer grade 3 stage 1 -2 (grade 3 being aggressive) so the only thing on my mind was would I see my baby grow up?
The treatmentI had 16 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and 9 rounds of radiotherapy, I started in Late February 2020 and completed just before Christmas 2020.
What type of surgery did you have?I had a lumpectomy as I was told if I had a mastectomy it would make near no difference whether it could come back so I thought I would keep it simple and I also had an uplift on both sides.
Do you have any tips for ladies that are about to start their treatment?Seek advise from professionals - your breast care nurse will be your new best friend and nothing is a silly question! Don’t get too hung up on google or other people’s experiences, try to remain as positive as possible, as hard as that can be and allow yourself time to grieve your diagnosis. You are entitled to cry and shout about it as much as you want to, to make you feel better.
Was there a charity that has supported you?I have received help from Macmillan as I was eligible for their grant and I have spoken to them via their online chat for a rant on more than one occasion – they are fantastic!
Are there any products you recommend for ladies that are about to have a surgery or start chemotherapy?A drain dolly may help if you have surgery and I can really recommend getting Nicola Jane bras! I opted for a front-fastening style, as this is the easiest after surgery and I still wear mine now. It’s the best thing ever! I would also advice to bring baggy pjs and zip up tops, as you will find it difficult to put anything on over your head, so it’s easier to have tops you can close at the front.
For the chemo sessions, I would recommend wearing comfy clothes as it can be quite a long day. I also found GinGins Sweets a saviour to help with nausea I experienced after the chemo days. I also swear by Plantur caffeine shampoo – this has really helped my hair to grow and feel healthy again.
Do you have any exciting plans for the upcoming year? (of course hoping that the current covid-19 restriction will be eased and the overall situation will improve)I am due to get married in June 2021 so that’s super exciting (Covid dependant) and just looking forward to getting my life back to as relatively normal as possible.
Is there anything you wish you had known before your diagnosis?Honestly, that it is not all doom and gloom! I have met some amazing friends on my journey and I have a new “breastie”, Louise who I met through chemo and we talk every day now - I love her! There is always a positive in a negative experience, if you look hard enough.
We are all inspirational women, and we all deserve to be recognised for shining through tough times.