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17 women found support through their chemotherapy on the Forum

We supported each other through chemotherapy – now we’re walking together

After recieving support from the Forum, Kirsten and Michelle explain why they are taking part in a Pink Ribbon Walk.

Kirsten: I was diagnosed when I was pregnant

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 23 June 2017. I was 38, and pregnant with our second child.

To be told you have breast cancer when you’re pregnant is a shock, to say the least. All I could think was, ‘So, what do we do about it?’

I didn’t have the chance to worry about myself. I was more anxious for my son and unborn daughter.

I had my surgery in July, my daughter was born in August, and I started six cycles of chemotherapy in September. Radiotherapy followed in January, and my active treatment finished at the end of February 2018. To call it a whirlwind doesn’t quite cut it.

Not a day went by without support from the Forum

A lady in my village mentioned the Forum to me. Although I started my chemotherapy in September, I decided to join the October Chemo Starters 2017 thread, so I could be there from the beginning.

Now, I can’t imagine a day passing when I don’t hear from the women I met on the thread. Despite discussing difficult things like chemotherapy side effects, everyone was so supportive and comforting. Not a day went by without a giggle from someone.

I can’t imagine a better group to walk with

We’re taking part in the Pink Ribbon Walk this year. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for everyone to meet up, in the middle of the country, with a challenge to work up to.

I’ve never been the sporty type, but anything I can do to raise more money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care feels like a good use of my time. I cannot imagine a better group of ladies to make a 10-mile walk fly by with.

17 women found support through their chemotherapy on the Forum
Some of the members of the October Chemotherapy Starters 2017 thread. Michelle is second on the right.

Michelle: I didn’t understand what was happening to me

I found a lump in my breast in August 2017 and got booked in for a lumpectomy.

The appointment after my operation was awful. They just jumped in and started talking about node involvement, potential treatment, test results – I had to ask them to repeat everything as I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

I left the appointment confused and scared. I had to phone the breast care nurse the next day to fully understand what my diagnosis meant. 

The Forum helped me feel prepared

I avoided the internet after my diagnosis, as I didn’t want to scare myself. My mind had started to spiral out of control, and I couldn’t stop the irrational thoughts.

When I found out I needed chemotherapy, I decided to look for help on the internet. I wanted to find out how I would feel, and if there was anything I could do to help myself. This was how I found Breast Cancer Care’s Forum.

I read the whole of the September Chemo Starters 2017 thread and started to make a list of all the things I would need. I was amazed. I felt like I was doing something to prepare myself and began to feel hopeful.

The support was unbelievable

I spoke to my sister about whether I should post on the Forum. She encouraged me that I should, even if it was just to help other people diagnosed. I had never used social media before but posted on the October 2017 thread just before I started chemotherapy on 3 October.

The support I found was unbelievable. It was a space where I could be myself and laugh – I found that people around me were guarded and if I tried to joke or make light of my situation they’d be horrified. We kept each other positive and it stopped my mind from spiralling every day.

I will never be able to raise enough money to thank Breast Cancer Care for what they have provided me with, but I would like to try. I’m looking forward to our Pink Ribbon Walk, to share a happier journey with my friends that doesn’t involve side effects (well, apart from a few blisters!)

Join Kirsten and Michelle at the Pink Ribbon Walk

Sign up today and show your support for everyone affected by breast cancer. Together, we can make a difference with every step.

Join the Pink Ribbon Walk

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