When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer at age 48 my whole world fell apart. No one around me could believe that a fit and active PE teacher who ate healthy food and went on yoga retreats could have developed an aggressive form of cancer (HER2-positive) that had spread to her lymph nodes.
My first thoughts were that my 9 year old son was going to grow up without a Mum. I then concluded that I wouldn't make it to my 50th birthday and was never going to live in the flat we had just bought in the UK.
I’m happy to say none of those things happened. I was rushed into Hamad Hospital in Qatar where we were living to have a lumpectomy and lymph node removal. This was followed by 6 chemotherapy sessions, a course of radiotherapy and 16 hard core Herceptin treatments.
Athough in general things went well, I lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, my heart function was compromised and the side effects and fatigue lasted for a year after treatment. !
My scar is a reminder of a fight that I won and makes me proud to be have stood up to cancer. If I had had the surgery in England where there are far more specialist surgeons I may have ended up with a more aesthetic result.
However, what is more important is that I am breast cancer survivor and my scar is testament to that.