Each and every one of us has a story of someone who has been touched by Cancer. Here we share some of these stories, both painful and joyful for those who have survived the disease. Please submit your story here.
In Feb 2009 and in a horrendous separation and divorce I discovered a little rash on my boob the size of a 10p. Went to doctors who prescribed antibiotics and told me it was a breast abscess. It went away. Then June it was back. "Think you had better go to breast unit in Galway MJ!" Said the doctor...
I was alarmed but kept all my emotions under wraps. I missed appointment for fear of a huge bill and money I didn't have. I was assured, thanks to Mary Hurney the minister for health at the time. By the hospital that all treatment was free. I went along with a friend August 2009, only to be recalled September where I spent most of the day being diagnosed. It was breast cancer! The big C!! 4mm tumour in the milk duct. Stage 2.
My first words to fall out my mouth were... "But I don't feel ill!!" ... From then on it was a blur. Just focusing on the operation of mastectomy and rebuild (which is fab by the way!) my 4 boys was also my priority .. I had to keep alive for them. December comes and it's was over. Op done and out in 10 days. My god did I feel ill! On my own in Ireland with my boys at school became a slog and a bucket of treacle. But I got through it all and I'm here! :) Stay strong my friends! Never give up your journey and keep climbing over those walls!.
Very few of us dodge the bullet that is cancer, whether we suffer the disease ourselves or lose a loved one to it. I am no exception. As a child, two of my four grandparents were taken by cancer. In September 2000 my father was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour which took his life a full year later, he was just 65 years old. In October 2000, my father in law was diagnosed with stomach cancer and he passed away just three months later, he was also just 65 years old. In both cases I witnessed their last breaths and those memories of when the tears welled up in my eyes are still with me today.
In December 2012 my step father succumbed to lung cancer aged 66. Last October, most unexpectedly, my best friend of over 25 years died within 2 weeks of a brain tumour diagnosis. He and I were best men at each other’s weddings and we’d been through thick and thin together. He was a father to two beautiful young daughters and husband to a beautiful wife. A non-smoker, a half marathon runner and a wonderful friend; he was just 46 years old.
On a slightly more positive note, my cousin, just 45 years old is on her third bout of cancer in just ten years. Breast, lung and now tumours on the brain, but she’s still hanging in there. Thankfully, advancements in drugs and treatments in recent years have meant that she is still alive today. This is just a snap shot of how cancer has affected just me over the years and I know that most of my friends have similar tales to tell. Please support “Life Aid: Let's Beat World Cancer Together”, not for me, not for the ones I’ve lost, but for yourself, your family and your friends.
Karen writes a beautiful story on Linkedin about a friend. Check it out at 12 months to live.