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Cora and her husband, Phillip. Cora is a middle-aged woman with medium length dark hair. She is wearing a green top. Her husband is wearing a grey top. They are standing in a sunny conservatory with their grown-up daughter.

I had a recurrence 10 years after my first diagnosis

Cora was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. When she had a recurrence 10 years later, Breast Cancer Now provided her with essential support.


After 10 years I went back to where I started

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. I had a lumpectomy, followed by radiotherapy.

In 2009, I was told that I had a recurrence, and that the cancer had returned. It wasn't a complete shock – I always had a fear and a feeling that the cancer could come back.

Despite this, it still felt surreal that after 10 years I would be going back to where I had started.

I dealt with it by being as practical as possible. I'd learnt through my previous diagnosis how to process things logically, rather than emotionally. I wanted to know my treatment options, when we would start, what my prognosis was and how we were going to deal with it this time around.

Thinking practically about my recurrence made it so much easier to accept my diagnosis, not just for myself, but for those around me.

My family and friends rallied around me

I found out I needed chemotherapy. Having managed to avoid it the first time, I had no idea what to expect from the treatment. Luckily, my family and friends rallied around me. During my appointments I always had someone to keep me company, with a muffin and a coffee (or a green tea for me!)

I also had a double mastectomy. Although only one breast was affected after a discussion with the surgeon it was agreed I could have both breasts removed.

I dealt with a lot of worry and anxiety

During my treatment for the recurrence I dealt with a lot of worry and anxiety, so I reached out to Breast Cancer Now’s peer-support service, Someone Like Me.

They put me in touch with several amazing volunteers who had been through a similar experience to me. Their encouragement helped me feel confident in the decisions that I was making and gave me much-needed support throughout my treatment.

Breast Cancer Now also made my childhood dream come true. In 2016, I was one of the models in The Show, and walked down the catwalk for the charity.

I met men and women who had also had their lives affected by the incredible work that Breast Cancer Now does. We all felt privileged to be a part of it.

Now is the time to do things I love

Today I feel very lucky to have more time with my family and friends. I take every opportunity I can to go on holidays, to visit relatives and to travel to new places. Now is the time to do things I love, to learn a new skill and to travel the world. I am so thankful to have the chance to do everything I want to do.

From my experience and hearing the stories of others, I know that Breast Cancer Now makes an enormous difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer. It's so important that they continue to offer their life-changing services for a long time.

Because of this, I've left a legacy in my will for Breast Cancer Now. I hope that it will help give them the resources to help more people in the future, and provide the vital support for families, friends and individuals going through the difficulties of breast cancer.

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