#HumansofWMP: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Lynda Thompson, Force Contact
I was already a little concerned about breast cancer as it runs in my family - my aunt died of it at the age of 52 following 10 years of very invasive treatment. So when I received the call back from my first ever mammogram I sort of guessed that I had cancer.
I went for the results with my friend. I remember hearing the word and then going into a sort of daze. I hadn’t at this point told my family I was having tests. All I could think of was, how I am going to tell the kids?
When I went for a further mammogram I had tests which showed the disease was at a very early stage. The fact that it had been found early meant I did not have to go through chemotherapy. I had a lumpectomy and was prescribed Tamoxifen for five years and had five weeks of radiotherapy.
I took just over five months off work. When I came back it was a phased return and I was referred to the Occupational Health doctor. I was still feeling quite tired and weak and was (and still do) suffer from side effects in relation to the Tamoxifen. The force doctor advised that I be medically redeployed. That’s how I ended up working in a front office.
I think this is something that is often overlooked. The treatment can go on for five years and if there are side effects to the medication then this can make everyday tasks very difficult.
I get tired and sometimes feel anxious. I suffer from nausea and dizzy spells and my menopausal symptoms have increased. Menopause and breast cancer at the same time! Lucky me!
I am pleased to see and am happy to be part of the Breast Cancer Support Group. Every woman experiences cancer and treatment differently, but I don’t think you can underestimate the support from people in the same boat.
I say people because a lot of emphasis has been put on women, however, men can get breast cancer too. I look forward to learning a lot and maybe being able to pass on my experience to others.
I was cancer free at the last mammogram. That was a relief and I am so grateful to the QE Hospital for its continued kindness and support.
I have annual mammograms and have one due next month, so fingers crossed.