I believe I'm a better person for all I've gone through

I'm Jo and I'm 40 years old and a mum to two boys.

In August 2020, I received the news that I had stage 2 breast cancer. Previously to this I had experienced three years of breast abscesses which I was told was a rare form of mastitis. I was terrified! I was booked in straight away for a single mastectomy. For me reconstruction wasn't an option at this point as it was during the pandemic and all unnecessary surgery was cancelled. To be honest I didn't really mind, as I just wanted the cancer gone. After my initial surgery, more cancer was found which elevated me to stage 3. It was also grade 3 aggressive. I had five and a half months of chemotherapy and I lost my hair, which actually devastated me more than having the mastectomy to be honest. After fifteen sessions of radiotherapy I was given Tamoxifen and sent on my way to carry on with life.

Call it a sixth sense but I didn't feel cancer free so I requested a scan.  They don't generally like doing this after treatment but luckily they booked me in for another scan. Cancer was found in my spine which they then told me I was stage 4 incurable. Devastated didn't cut it. Gradually I have come to terms with my diagnosis and I'm doing well at present. They gave me the option for reconstruction, but I Iike how I look now, I think I look like a superhero! Besides that, I don't want to put my body through any further surgery. Life is good now. I appreciate that tomorrow isn't promised and I'm enjoying my time with friends and family. I want to show other women that you don't need to feel ashamed of your mastectomy. I feel proud of mine and the strength it represents. Strength of character is beautiful and I believe I'm a better person for all I've gone through.

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