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'A diagnosis of cancer changes your life.'

Vivian was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 after a routine screening. She’s looking forward to hitting the catwalk at the Glasgow fashion show.

Vivian was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 after a routine screening. She’s looking forward to hitting the catwalk at the Glasgow fashion show and showing her friends and family how far she has come since being diagnosed.

Vivian's story

I was diagnosed two years ago when I was 53. It was my first screening and it detected a tumour despite me not being able to feel a lump. The screening was followed by biopsies and an MRI. I had surgery a week later. My radiotherapy started in July 2012 making that summer memorable for a reason other than the London Olympics.

I returned to work after having radiotherapy but developed pneumonia. It took me a long time to recover from this. Fatigue continued to be an issue for a long time and I required physiotherapy to help regain my arm and shoulder movement after surgery.

A diagnosis of cancer changes your life.

It was particularly difficult for my daughter who was sitting exams at the time. My son who is 15 and has Asperger’s was aware that things were not normal but we managed to normalise things as much as possible for him.

My advice to others would be to take as much help as you can get. After some false starts I have found a brilliant cancer nurse. I would also say it is the one time you have to most firmly put yourself first. Before my diagnosis I was seriously overworking and failing to enjoy the small things like hugging my children. I ended up joining a gym and discovering a love of boxing and dance. This exercise has helped with the side effects of the tamoxifen I continue to take.

I’m so looking forward to seeing my friends and family to see how far I have come since my diagnosis and walking down the catwalk!

Vivian will be on the catwalk on 12 November.

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