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A selfie of Lynne by the beach

Lynne's journey from Moving Forward attendee to volunteer

Feeling overwhelmed at the end of her treatment, Lynne joined our online Moving Forward course to help her readjust to daily life. After it helped her take the next steps, she became a volunteer for our new Northern Ireland courses.

Which breast cancer symptoms did you spot?

In September 2020, when I was 48, I noticed a change in my right breast. It felt fuller and firmer. There was no lump, and I had no family history of cancer so I put it down to age and hormones. But it was still there in November, even after several weeks. So, I decided to see my GP so they could tell me that I didn’t need to worry.

I was so determined that it would be fine. I didn’t even tell my husband I was going to the doctor. But when I was there, my GP urgently referred me to my local breast clinic.

What happened next?

In December, I had an appointment for an ultrasound and some mammograms. I had to go in alone because of COVID-19. During my ultrasound, they did biopsies which were really distressing for me. When everyone left the room, I almost got up and ran away. At the same appointment, a doctor placed a metal ‘marker’ in my breast and they sent me for my third mammogram. Next, they called me into one of those side rooms that you never want to see.

At 9pm that day, the doctor told me I had breast cancer. I was alone, so I called my husband asking him to come in. It was probably the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make.

Next, I had a whirlwind of appointments, a mastectomy and a breast reconstruction. But after the surgery, I recovered well, and I was happy with my new shape and size.

Although my lymph nodes were clear, the hospital recommended chemotherapy because my tumour was large. I broke down at that point. It took me 2 days to accept it. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy, I had 5 rounds of radiotherapy and that unfortunately slightly affected my breast implant.

Did you get any support during this time?

I came across Breast Cancer Now by accident one day. Its support services like Moving Forward helped me through some very dark and lonely days.

After I completed my hospital-based treatment plan, I felt somewhat lost, overwhelmed, and alone. Although I had support from my friends and family, I knew that none of them could fully understand how I felt. So, Moving Forward was an ideal option for me. It could help me connect with similar people and give me what I needed to move on.

How did your Moving Forward course impact you?

Because of lockdown restrictions, I did my Moving Forward course online. But it still helped me greatly.

The course helped me think about getting my life back together after months of treatment. Speaking to people who'd had similar experiences was really beneficial for my mental and emotional wellbeing. It made me feel less ‘alone.' And I realised that my roller coaster of thoughts and feelings was completely normal.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining a Moving Forward course?

There is help and support out there, don't be afraid to ask for it.

After my Moving Forward course helped me so much, I signed up to volunteer at the new Northern Ireland courses. In my breast cancer journey, I felt very isolated and lonely, so I wanted to support other people and help make their experiences easier. 

It's been lovely to watch and listen to people sharing their stories, tips and support. I felt a sense of pride when people who'd been strangers were bonding and sharing contact details. So, I'd really recommend the course to anyone.

We're here to help you move forward

Whether you'd like to join us online or face-to-face, we have Moving Forward courses for you. We offer face-to-face courses all over the UK, including in our new Northern Ireland locations.

 

Moving Forward courses

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