Sue 3's Story

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In August 2005 I made an appointment to see the doctor - not because I had found a lump in my breast but because there was a red mark about the size of a finger print right next to my nipple. The doctor acted very quickly and within two weeks I had a hospital appointment. I had a biopsy at the hospital and two days later I had the result, which was that the doctor could not be sure that the needle had gone through the lump. I was told that they didn't think it anything to worry about so I didn't.

I went back to the hospital the next week for another biopsy - two days later I had the result. It was breast cancer and I'm sure every woman has asked the same question "why me".

On the way home I didn't say a word to my husband and he never said a word to me either. When we arrived home we both cried, and then the phone rang. I answered the phone and it was my oldest son, I couldn't talk to him I was still upset. I passed the phone to my husband. A few minutes later the phone rang again and it was my youngest son again I passed the phone to my husband . At that time I could cope knowing that I had breast cancer but couldn't talk about it. Life, as you know - it suddenly changes.

I went into hospital the first week in September 2005 and I don't mind saying that I was absolutely terrified of this operation. Ten years before I had a Hysterectomy at another hospital and while in theatre I had a bad experience. Because the lump was behind the nipple I had a mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction which was taken from my back.

After I went home from hospital I seemed to have one problem after another. In October I had part of the reconstruction removed because of a necrosis and then went onto VAC therapy.

A month later I had a skin graft because the wound was not healing. Over Christmas I was on VAC therapy again for four weeks. The doctors had showed my husband how to change the dressing on the VAC machine, which meant that we didn't have to go to the hospital every day. Nothing seemed to work and the wound was still not healing so the following March I had the remainder of the reconstruction removed. I supposed you could say that I have had two mastectomies' on the same breast. In a way I was relieved. All this time I never saw my breast I just couldn't bring myself to look at it. I then went on to chemotherapy for six months. I didn't feel well for quite some time and loosing my hair didn't help.

After chemotherapy I went to see the consultant and I expressed my feelings to him that I just wanted to look normal. I was willing to go though another operation so arrangements were made for me to have another reconstruction the following May. I decided this was what I wanted to do because otherwise I wouldn't have been happy the way my body looked, and would have regretted not trying in later life. My husband wasn't very keen on the idea but still supported my decision. In January 2007 I started a course of Herceptin which is once every three weeks.

Now I feel that my life is getting back on track and I have two boobs and the future looks brighter. It has only been three months and I still have some discomfort around my stomach. My back is still numb which is from the first operation but in time these feelings will go.

All through this my husband has looked after me and has been with me every step of the way. I think without him I might have given up especially when I was feeling quite ill while on chemotherapy.

This Page was created on Sunday, 29th January, 2008.