Hi, I’m Julie Anne and was diagnosed at the age of 47 in 2018 with ER+ & PR+ (HER2-) breast cancer in my right breast which was grade 2 DCIS, 2cm lump and 1 node involved.

This all came as a huge shock to me, I’d just got married that same year and was living my best life and felt so well and had no family history of breast cancer.

I had a lumpectomy and full node clearance followed by radiotherapy. I was then medically put into the menopause via Zolodex injections and started a 3 year course of daily Ibranondic tablets and a 10 year course of Letrozole. I now also have lymphoedema in my right arm, hand and breast which is well controlled.

I managed to get through the surgery and radiotherapy with the support of my wife, sister and mum however, I struggled with the fact that they really couldn’t understand exactly what I was going through as they hadn’t been through breast cancer themselves and I found the thought of ‘moving forward’ very daunting and lonely. I also had the added worry of how I could continue with my professional career, being a senior director, and overnight I’d lost all of my confidence. Prior to breast cancer I’d always been seen as the confident one in both my personal and professional life and spent all my time dedicated to others rather than myself.

I sought help through various avenues on the Breast Cancer Now website and found talking to ‘someone like me’ really helped as they could truly relate to how I was feeling.

I’m now back at work doing the same role with renewed confidence however, I’ve made the decision to spend more time on ‘me’ and have cut down my hours of work and given that time back to volunteering to help people like myself through their journeys. Despite having lymphedema this doesn’t hold me back in any way and I’ve also found a new love for exercise and regularly enjoy a 5k run, a spinning or yoga class and daily walks with my new cockapoo Minnie and genuinely love the ‘new me’.

I’ve been a Someone Like Me volunteer since 2019 now and happy to answer any questions you have. If I can help you in any way, please email me at juliea@breastcancernow.org