Hi I am Sara-Jane, in 2019 when I was 48 I was diagnosed with invasive micro-papillary carcinoma grade 2, ER+, plus high/intermediate grade DCIS in my right breast. 

I had been feeling a bit unwell for a few days, and one morning, I rolled over in bed and my right breast was heavy and it just flopped, like a dead weight. I felt it and found a large lump. I saw my doctor that night and he told me that he was certain I had breast cancer. 

It was a shock to receive the diagnosis, plus I had just been told I was being made redundant, so I was trying to work out lots of different issues. 

My treatment plan was to have a skin sparing mastectomy, with the loss of my nipple. I wanted a reconstruction, and I had the choice of implant or DIEP (using tummy tissue). I chose the DIEP, as I felt I wanted to have my body ‘in me’. I wrestled with my choice, as I went through the, ‘am I vain, am I selfish’, internal monologues.

I was told post-surgery that I would need to be on Letrozole for 5 years. Via my Dexa scan I also discovered I have osteopenia and I take calcium tablets daily.

I live alone, and at that time my teenage child lived with me part time. When I was diagnosed, they were just starting their GCSE’s. I took the hard decision that they should live with their dad for the duration of my treatment as I wanted them to be settled.

I am grateful to the support of family and friends, the Someone Like Me service and the Breast Cancer Now Helpline. My hospital provided Breast Cancer Now leaflets at each step of the way, which I found to be concise and informative.  I am pleased to say that I recovered well. I became a Someone Like Me volunteer in 2021.

If you are facing a decision about what reconstruction to have, considering what’s best for your loved ones or want to ask me any other questions about my experience of diagnosis and treatment please contact me at SaraJane@breastcancernow.org