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Ruth sat outside wearing sunglasses

We laughed and we cried, and we learned about moving on with life

Age 53, Ruth is a primary school teacher with 2 daughters aged 21 and 24. We asked Ruth about her diagnosis and how she adjusted to her new normal.

Can you tell us about your diagnosis?

The hospital diagnosed me with triple-negative breast cancer back in January 2022. It was devastating news and something that I’d always feared. My tumour was 2cm and my surgeon did a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

My life as I knew it grounded to a halt. I was on a wheel of endless appointments and hospital visits. After my final radiotherapy in August 2022, I rang a bell to celebrate the end of my treatment but the reality of my life having changed forever hit hard. I had to navigate moving on as a different person.

How did you adjust to everyday life?

I started to follow Breast Cancer Now on social media, and I found its website really helpful. I found out about its new Moving Forward courses in Northern Ireland and I signed up for one, not knowing what to expect. Without a doubt, it was one of the best things I’ve done since my treatment.

What happened on the course?

I was part of a small group of ladies and facilitators who spent 2 days sharing experiences. There was something so comforting in this. We had a deep understanding of what everyone had gone through, even though none of our stories were the same. We laughed, cried, and supported each other.

Our facilitators told us about services in the community to help us move forward, from counselling, to online forums and physical activities.

How did the course impact you?

The course helped me appreciate what I’d been through and realise that my feelings were normal. It showed me ways to help move further forward.

Everyone had such warmth and a deep understanding of life’s ups and downs. There was such an appreciation for everyone and we learnt from each other about ways to move on. The course facilitators were super too. It was one of those special times in my breast cancer journey and something that helped me greatly.

I can’t thank Breast Cancer Now enough for its help, support, and the new friends I made across the 2-day course.

What would you say to someone thinking about our Moving Forward courses?

You should definitely do the course. It helps with the emotions and thoughts you have when your treatment finishes.

I waited until a year post-treatment before I signed up. It was the right time for me after I spent the year prioritising my physical health and rebuilding some of my life.

We're here for you

If you’ve finished your primary breast cancer treatment, we’re here to help you move forward. We hold our face-to-face courses across the UK, including in our new Northern Ireland locations. Sign up today.

Moving Forward courses

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