As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gef is profiling the models for the Fashion for Life fashion show, in aid of Isle of Man Breast Care and Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the IOM. The show, which takes place on Friday 22nd October, will feature 80s-inspired fashion, modeled by local survivors of breast cancer. You can book tickets at: villagaiety.com/whats-on/fashion-for-life/
What is your name?
Tell us about you and your life pre-diagnosis.
I was a care-free spirit, that loved to walk, travel, spend time with my family, and enjoyed a party!
When were you diagnosed with breast cancer, and how old were you?
April 2019, aged 45.
How were you diagnosed?
I was initially tested for the BARA 1 gene as family members were confirmed to be carrying this. During the time I was awaiting my results, Dr Salmon suggested they bring my mammograms forward. Unfortunately, they discovered a tumour. Within the space of 20 hours, it was confirmed that I had both the BARA 1 gene and breast cancer.
Tell us about your treatment
I am one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to go through radiotherapy or chemo. I have had 18 months on Tamoxifen and now 5 years on Letrozole.
Advice you’d give
Research your option. It’s your body and a life long decision, you can’t turn back the clock once it’s done!
What do you wish you’d have known?
The impact of doing your exercises after surgery- I gave up doing them as I was feeling great in myself. Unfortunately, this affected me later on and I lost a lot of upper body strength.
Tell us about your life now and the impacts it has had on you
My journey is still ongoing. I’ve had five surgeries, with two to go.
Cancer has taught me so so much about myself: I’m strong, I have faith and believe in myself. Life is for living and I make sure that every day is precious, surrounding myself with my beautiful family and friends who have never left my side. It’s been their journey as well as mine. I’m eternally grateful for my army. It makes you realise what’s important in life, and I love every waking day!
How were you supported by Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the IOM, Isle of Man Breast Care and other Manx BC Charities?
My surgeries are in Liverpool, performed by the amazing Miss Ann Tansley. Having not been able to go to Liverpool during Covid, I have found local charities to hook up with and share experiences and find support. These ladies are compassionate and inspirational.
Thank you to Claire Corrin for sharing her story.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are selling Mystic Chest t-shirts and jumpers at: https://www.gefthemongoose.net/shop/collections/mystic-chest
Learn more about the collection and the story behind it at: https://gef.im/2021/10/13/check-your-mystic-chest/