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Fiona was already seeking help for her mental health when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but found the support for this was sidelined when she began treatment.
Fiona had already been struggling with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress for four years when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2020. At the time, she felt like her mental health was finally starting to improve - but getting the news of breast cancer and beginning treatment brought her right back down again.
She was told she had to stop her therapy sessions before undergoing chemotherapy, and later found out that other people with co-morbidities were told that they could not receive treatment for their pre-existing conditions while they were breast cancer patients.
Fortunately for her, Fiona was able to access some avenues of support that helped her during treatment, and now finds herself in a much happier place. She is now using her experience to help other breast cancer patients, encourage people to advocate for themselves, and raise awareness of these issues amongst healthcare workers.
You can listen to her story via the link below.
The patient doesn't have the option to say, 'Well I won't have mental health problems while I deal with my cancer.' It doesn't work like that. The two co-exist, they overlap, and sometimes they make both things much worse.
Everyone’s experience is unique to them. This podcast contains the personal story and experience of the speaker, rather than that of Breast Cancer Now.
You can subscribe to Breast Cancer Now in your podcast app to stay tuned for more episodes of 'My story', as well as discussions with healthcare professionals and researchers.