My mum was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer nearly 2 months after my 12th birthday in 2014. For 6 and a half years I watched in awe of her as she took on chemotherapy, radiation, multiple surgeries, as well as the many inevitable side effects and complications that come with having cancer. My mum faced so many obstacles throughout her illness and continued to get more and more bad news each year, but each year she would over come it, only to be faced with the next challenge. It killed me that I could not take this pain away from her. She was my biggest role model as I had never seen someone so strong, positive and optimistic, considering the cards this life dealt her.
Last ApriI l held her hand as she slipped away to heaven after the cancer progressed uncontrollably all over her body. Her loss was heart wrenching to my family as it all happened so quickly and unpredictably despite her being ill for so long. She loved her life, her family, her friends and her work in the local school, she was not ready to leave this world behind which made it harder.
I was 47, I discovered a lump in my breast. I was on holidays with my husband and three children so wasn’t doing a breast exam at all but was having a quick wash and rushing to free up the shower. I stood under the water in a cold sweat, checking and checking again. I felt instantly it was cancer.
3 weeks after finding my lump, I was diagnosed with Ductal Stage 1 Grade 2 Oestrogen Positive Breast Cancer. I wasn’t so shocked but despite the warnings I had given my husband he took the confirmation hard. We are a fit healthy family and it didn’t make sense to him.
I am a 40 year old mother of 5 plus one Angel baby my J P
In 2018 after genetic testing I discovered I had the BRCA 2 gene. I went to see my consultant Dr Mathers in May 2018 to discuss preventable surgery after the testing showed I was positive for this gene. I was put on the waiting list for a risk-reducing mastectomy. My consultant also noted during my examination that my lymph nodes were raised. I was in early pregnancy so we were unclear if it had something to do with the pregnancy.
I attended the symptomatic breast family history clinic in June 2018 for my scan and was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (cancer) grade 3 via ultrasound. I went into the scanning room and the scans were performed, a simple breast cyst was seen on my left breast and then something more concerning measuring approximately 1cm was visualized close by. A needle biopsy was also taken of the swollen axillary node. My mind was racing, I sat pondering and thought “surely there couldn’t be anything wrong”? “It will just be a cyst”
I returned a couple of hours later for my results and saw Dr Mathers who very gently explained to me that abnormal cells were seen in both biopsies of my breast and auxiliary and that this appeared to be breast cancer.
What a difference a day makes. I'd heard that phrase many times before but last January I learned just how true it can be. On what was otherwise a typical Monday night, I put my 3 kids to bed, had a shower and then found a lump in my breast. Now initially I didn't panic, I was entirely certain that it was a cyst. After all I was a fit, healthy 36 year old with no family history of cancer so I didn't need to worry right?
Wrong. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March last year. I had surgery in March and then again in April. Whilst recovering from surgery I heard about the 100km in 30 days and decided to sign up. I'd seen the pink t-shirts the previous year but all of a sudden the charity now had a place close to my heart.
After finding a lump in my breast I was referred for a mammogram and got an appointment 12 days later. I had my ultrasound scan and during the scan I had a feeling that something was wrong and the silence in the room seemed to confirm it for me. The consultant finally spoke and said “I am sorry to tell you but this looks highly suspicious and we need to do a biopsy today” Those words and that moment will stay with me forever.
I left the clinic knowing that I had breast cancer even though I hadn’t received the official results and my thoughts immediately turned to my family, my husband Michael and my children Darren, Jamie and Alanna.
My initial diagnosis confirmed cancer in my right breast, oestrogen positive and I was preparing for a mastectomy on 12th April 2016.
In 1989, at 33 years of age, while having my shower, I found a lump in my left breast. Instantly, my first thought was, I’m too young to die. After the initial shock, I gathered myself together and phoned my GP and made an appointment to have my discovery checked out. He referred me for a mammogram, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
I know that today's science and cancer research has progressed so much since my diagnosis in 1990, but research will always need to be carried out on an on-going basis, which requires thousands of euros. I wouldn’t be a person of high financial means but two years’ ago when I became aware of the 100km in 30 days event, I saw this as an opportunity for me to give back in some small way. A group of family members took on this challenge and I am happy to report we will again be signing up to their upcoming event this year.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December.
I am 49 years old, my mother also was diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 in the month of December as well. Unfortunately my mother passed away at 54 from the cancer.
My maternal grandmother also had breast cancer and passed away from it.
Thankfully due to breast checks and getting a mammogram every year my tumour was caught early. I had surgery to remove the tumour and have just finished radiotherapy.
My story began in March 2020. We had just gone into the first covid lockdown, and while doing my check in the shower felt a small lump in one of my breasts. I wasn't too alarmed thinking it's probably just a cyst and with everything going on in the world didn't want to be annoying my GP with something so minor so said i'd leave it a few weeks and see how it was.
As those weeks passed I kept finding myself running my hand over it and thinking about it so made a call to my GP practice and they asked me to come in for an examination after a quick consultation over the phone. My GP wasn't too concerned with how it felt but referred me to the breast clinic just to be safe. I was seen the same week and things moved very quickly from there. Again the breast consultant wasn't too concerned but referred me to Waterford regional hospital for a triple assessment and MRI.
A week later I received a breast cancer diagnosis which came as a huge shock to us all including my consultant. I was healthy & only 31.
Wednesday 8th November 2017 - Breast Care Clinic St James's Hospital Dublin, at approx. 2.45pm I was told that I had breast cancer in my right breast. I didn't fall apart; there were no tears; I just felt completely numb.
After several weeks of scans and tests I found out what my treatment would be. My mother had had radiotherapy and a lumpectomy in 2013 in her 70's and got through it so I was hoping for something like that too. Unfortunately, I was to have chemotherapy; mastectomy and radiotherapy. That was pretty devastating. One of my first questions to the Breast Care Nurse was will I loose my hair?
In January 2021 I found a small lump in my left breast, as my mam had breast cancer 3 years ago I regularly checked and went to the doctor as soon as I found the lump. They weren’t concerned as I am only 28 they thought it was just hormonal changes but referred me to be checked due to breast cancer being in my family.
In June I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
In October 2020, I discovered a small lump on my right breast, phoned my GP the next day and saw her two days later. She said there was definitely something there but not to worry.
She referred me to the Breast Clinic in Waterford, and I had my first appointment two weeks later. I didn’t tell anyone, not my friends or family. I didn’t feel the need to when we
didn’t know what was there. I thought perhaps a cyst or something from having a baby.
On my first examination, I was told it was more than likely just a cyst so didn’t worry myself to much about it. I was sent for a mammogram and biopsy the following week. In that time, I developed an uncomfortable feeling in my right armpit and kept trying to fix myself but never imagined it was what it was. At the biopsy they took a sample from my right breast and my right armpit. I had the results the following week and was told it was cancer Stage 2 meaning it had spread to the lymph nodes in my right armpit and that was the uncomfortable feeling I was having.
In my case, I discovered my breast cancer when I was trying to get pregnant (it was actually 2 months after I had my miscarriage). My cancer wasn't so aggressive but I have had to postpone my dream of maternity. I think this has been the most difficult part.
I discovered a lump in February 2019 when I was 42 and was subsequently diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Grade 3. The cancer was HER2 negative, oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, so was very sensitive to hormones. So good news for me, it was easier to treat, but unfortunately the bad news meant I couldn’t get pregnant. I had surgery to remove the lump and lymph nodes.
I am 38 and a mom of two daughters, aged 5 and 2. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 30, 2019 at 28 weeks into my second pregnancy. I had found a lump 8 weeks prior to that and was referred for a triple assessment by my maternity consultant. Following confirmation that I was Stage 2, Grade 3, ER+ / HER+, I underwent a lumpectomy at 30 weeks pregnant and had a c-section at 35 weeks so I could start chemo two weeks post partum. My hospital treatment consisted of ACTH and I finished active treatment in May 2020. I am still on Zoladex and Tamoxifen.
I am keen to share my story as when starting my cancer journey, I hadn’t encountered many about navigating cancer while pregnant. There were two people to consider when determining my treatment plan, which requires a lot of communication between my maternity and oncology teams.
I am a big believer in the fine work you’re doing at BCI and hope that my story will help shine a light on the importance of your contributions.
As part of my treatment regimen I had a lumpectomy, AC and Taxol chemo, Herceptin and radiation.
I was working as an oncology nurse when I was diagnosed, I was familiar with finding lumps and knew the journey that was ahead of me. I had a Pea-sized lump under my left breast, it was a Grade 3 tumour, it was small but aggressive, so I opted for a full mastectomy and reconstruction, followed by chemotherapy.
Tough as the journey was, I credit much of my recovery to early detection and surrounding myself with positive stories of women who had gone through breast cancer and had come out the other side.
This is why I have chosen to share my story so that other women can hear that they too will get through it, that it’s not all doom and gloom.
At the end of April, last year, I found a lump on my left breast in the shower and booked into the doctors straight away. My mom had ovarian cancer 5 years previous and is a BRCA1 mutation carrier so I knew it should be checked ASAP. I sat my college exams, and then, after some delays, I was diagnosed on June 4th 2021 with Stage 3 Grade 3 Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
To be told I had such an aggressive form of breast cancer at only 21 years old was a huge shock. I was then told I too was a BRCA1 mutation carrier.
Due to my age, I underwent a round of IVF before starting 20 weeks of ACT regimen chemotherapy. I had surgeries in December and January, and then completed 15 sessions of deep inspiration breath hold radiation in March of this year. Undergoing cancer treatment during the covid pandemic was also quite difficult as I was by myself for all my treatments and surgeries.
The last 10 months have been a whirlwind but thankfully, I am now finished with treatment, I’m back playing sport and ready to return to college to complete my final year of Neuroscience in UCC in September.
I am so delighted to be taking part in the 100k in 30 days this year for Breast Cancer Ireland as it is because of the work that they do, that I am now cancer free!