In 2002, actor Amanda Mealing discovered she had breast cancer within 24 hours of giving birth. Determined not to let her treatment interfere with motherhood, she buried a lot of her feelings. Years later, she began to suffer with what she now recognises as PSTD.
Cancer took away my innocence
When Amanda was told she had breast cancer, she initially feared that she wouldn't live long enough to see her sons grow up. One of them was barely a day old when she was diagnosed, and the other was only three. Thankfully, she was successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and was later declared No Evidence of Disease.
Unfortunately, her struggle did not end there. Around five or six years later, Amanda began experiencing bouts of anxiety and depression. She would find herself thinking about her and her family's mortality a lot, and experienced survivors' guilt after losing a friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before she had been.
In this episode, Amanda speaks openly and fearlessly about PTSD, how she came to recognise it, and the work she is still doing to take care of her mental health.
I was determined that cancer wasn't going to take anything else from me. It might take a little bit of my time, a little bit of my health, but I wouldn't let it interfere with any more of my life.
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.
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