Caroline talks about how important her secondary breast cancer support group has been in coming to terms with her diagnosis, and why she’s excited to take part in The Show London.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in August 2015. I had chemotherapy, a mastectomy and lymph node clearance, radiotherapy and herceptin for a year.
Sadly, my cancer returned to my brain in February 2017 and since then I have had four neurosurgical operations: three to remove the same secondary - which is a bit stubborn - and one to fix some complications after the 3rd operation. I’ve also had cyber knife radiotherapy on my brain and will now continue taking herceptin.
All of this has hammered my body image. I lost my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, finger nails and toe nails. They have grown back but the brows are sparse and my nails are awful.
My hair is now growing back well but it’s taken 3 years to get to a bob. Every time I have brain surgery or radiotherapy a chunk of hair is lost again! I haven’t had a breast reconstruction, which I can live with, but I am self-conscious in swimming suits.
With secondary breast cancer you never really move on, you just learn to live with it. A big part of coming to terms with this incurable cancer has been the support of the secondary support group run by Breast Cancer Care. I feel less lonely meeting others who understand my situation - quite a few of us have young children, so that help is really important.
I applied for The Show London after a friend took part a couple of years ago. I want to give back to the charity by raising money but I also just wanted something fun to look forward to amongst the endless hospital appointments.
I am hoping to feel more confident too - I no longer have to dress smartly for work and have got into a rut with jeans and converse!
Join Caroline at The Show London as 31 inspirational models step out in style on the catwalk after a breast cancer diagnosis. Book your ticket today.