Laura was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 25 after finding a lump in her breast while she was travelling. Two years after finishing treatment for primary breast cancer, Laura was told the cancer was back but this time it had spread to her bones.
I never knew anyone my age to get cancer
I was in Australia travelling and usually used a washing mitt but I hadn't got it out of my bag and was just using my hands for the shower gel. It was then I discovered the lump. I had no idea it could be cancer. I was 25. Too young I thought. I had never known anyone that age to get cancer. I never even checked my boobs and had never been told I should or what to look for.
I had a year of treatment, including chemotherapy and a mastectomy. But two years after finishing treatment, aged 28, I started experiencing pain in my right shoulder. After going for tests, I was diagnosed with stage 4 incurable breast cancer. It had already spread to my bones. I had a shoulder replacement and chemotherapy. Three years on, I receives treatment every three weeks and I am stable.
My diagnosis has made me live life to the full
Initially, because of treatment, I lost confidence and hated myself and my body. I found I lost some friends but gained a heap of new ones who really understood me. Over the years I grew to love myself and found a new confidence I never knew I had. I found a positivity and a new zest for life. And a new appreciation to all those who have slowed me on this journey. My husband has been by my side since before I was diagnosed and our relationship has faced huge challenges but we are stronger than ever and got married in April 2019.
Cancer has made me live life to the full as much as I can. I say yes to most things and have a new appreciation into each day. I may never get the pleasure of growing old so I need to do what I can now to enjoy life. I love experiences and things I can share with my loved ones. Making memories is so important to me. Cancer has taken away my chance to have a family of my own which is very hard but I try to spend as much time with my friends’ children as I can.
It only takes five minutes of your life every month to check your breasts and may save you having to endure what I have been through.
Laura is one of 11 women from across the world who are part of ghd’s Take Control Now campaign in partnership with Breast Cancer Now. The campaign features 11 women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35 who are sharing their experiences to remind women to self check for signs of breast cancer.
£10 from every purchase of the Take Control Now campaign in the UK will go to Breast Cancer Now.
It's important to check your breasts regularly and see your GP if you notice a change in your breasts. Find out the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.