A business-owner and mum of 2, Natasha was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2022. She wants everyone with a breast cancer diagnosis to have access to the same services she did. She also wants to raise awareness that this can happen to anyone young, old or middle-aged.

Natasha wearing pink

A bit about me  

I own an online marketplace for all things sustainable and I’m passionate about protecting the environment for future generations. I love to get involved in beach cleans and litter picking events. I’m also qualified to go into schools and assess them for their EcoSchools Green Flag awards. Education is vital in protecting the planet.  

I live near sunny Poole by the sea. I have 2 beautiful young daughters and a very lively golden retriever! I love pottering in the garden and any excuse to be on the beach.  

I also love cooking, especially baking. I was a quarter finalist on Masterchef back in 2006. 

It took 11 months to get a diagnosis 

In May 2022, I was diagnosed with ER+ primary breast cancer. I found a suspicious lump over 11 months before, but I only got a diagnosis after my third attempt at reporting it. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy, I hadn’t responded to the treatment at all. I had a single mastectomy and auxiliary clearance in mid-November. 3 out of 10 nodes were cancerous and the tumour was 5.5cm. Between January and February 2023, I had 15 sessions of radiotherapy. 

I’m on 2 daily preventative drugs because I’m at a high risk of recurrence and I was premenopausal. I have 1 injection in the stomach every 3 months to stop my ovaries producing oestrogen. Every 6 months, I have bone strengthening infusions to counteract the osteoporosis risk caused by the tablets. I’ll need to have these preventative treatments for 4 more years.  

Breast cancer savages much more than breasts  

Physically a lot has changed! I had long hair down to my waist and now it’s short. The hair on my body has not grown back properly (not all a bad thing). I only have 1 breast and a big scar. I have lymphoedema in my left arm and hand, so I need to wear a compression sleeve for life.  

I’m always in some level of pain. I have chemo burns up one arm and I have a hardened vein there too which is regularly stabbed in all the ongoing tests I have to endure. And I have 2 dot tattoos from the radiotherapy. 

My left shoulder hasn't fully recovered from the operation that severed my nerves, so I have some restricted movement and weakness on that side. I had a terrible experience with my initial biopsies. It left me with incredible bruising and a sizeable haematoma.  

Mentally, I’ve lost a lot of confidence. I used to be a high functioning, intelligent, super-multitasker. Now I can’t remember what I want to say mid-sentence. I can’t get my words out or remember something from 30 seconds ago.  My anxieties have heightened, and I get confused and upset easily. I worry that by being more emotionally wobbly and not functioning like I used to, I’m letting my daughters and husband down. And there is always the paranoia that the cancer will come back, and I won’t be so lucky next time.  

After my mastectomy I was told about all the drugs I had to take for 5 years, including the endless blood tests, infusions and side effects. It hit me hard. I thought they’d chop the cancer out or zap me with radio a few times and I could get my life back. But I’ll never have my old life back. I think all cancer patients go through a grieving process when that realisation hits. Your old life s never coming back.  

All of this is exhausting and overwhelming at times. 

On the positive side, it does make you more appreciative of the little things in life 

After having breast cancer, you're more aware of how you need to really seize the day and not sweat the small stuff.  

Make sure you eat the cake. Try to cut out everything and everyone that causes you stress or doesn’t bring you joy 

You’ll never truly understand how much every penny raised at the wear it pink events really changes lives  

Your donation may fund a kind word, helpful information, a shoulder to cry, on or a lifesaving research breakthrough.  

My advice to supporters would be to have fun! Your smiles and pride in wearing it pink will be contagious. 

At work. At school. In your community.

Join Natasha and thousands of incredible people wearing pink on 18 October to help fund life-changing breast cancer research and support.  

Sign up today

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