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A story of love, hope and strength

Grandparents and children sharing tips and stories

From Sara Williams in Wrexham

The words of Mike Peters, musician and poet of the Alarm, who himself has battled cancer and is my inspiration to battle my breast cancer.

I am 42, a mother of two aged 10 and 7 with a lovely husband and my own business as a mobile dog groomer. I love animals and have two dogs, nine guinea pigs and four rabbits. I run and swim and enjoy reading.

I found the lump quite by accident on 15th January 2009 while I was at a customer's house. My customer was telling me a shocking story and as I placed my hand on my chest, there it was.

I felt cold, numb and waited for my customer to leave the room before I could really believe what I had found. I decided to carry on with my day as normal because the doctors’ surgery closed for the afternoon so there was nothing I could do.

The next day my doctor told me that he didn't think it was anything to worry about but I knew differently - I find enough 'lumps' on my customers' dogs!

Two weeks later I went to hospital for the tests and the consultant told me then and there that it wasn't good news but they would have to wait for the results of the biopsy.

On 5th February 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My whole world collapsed as I thought about my 7 year old son who is autistic and the hard battle I have had to get help for him. Who was going to fight for him now? Me! That's who!

On 13th February 2009 I had my lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed. Apparently when I was coming around from the anaesthetic I told my consultant to burn the lump, stamp on it, stick it with pins and basically kill it which is what I wanted to do with it! My consultant told me that he had removed 4oz of tissue and I would have quite a dent in my boob! I thought I was going to look like Frankenstein’s bride! However, two weeks later, still bruised and swollen, I can't see a dent! The only thing I can see is one boob is slightly smaller than the other and actually, I prefer the smaller one!

The 25th February 2009 was a wonderful day. The cancer has been removed and my lymph nodes are clear. Cause for celebration. So next Wednesday my friends and I are having a little party.

I have my date set for 11th March for my treatment schedule and I am scared. I don’t want to lose my hair - I have big ears and how will my children react? I don't know but I will cope with love, hope and strength.

The worst part about the diagnosis was cancelling all of my appointments, thinking I would never see my wonderful doggie customers again - they are my friends. I have to accept the fact that I won't be able to swim for a while, I can't do the races I had planned this year and my running will have to take a more casual form. I have had to stop my WeightWatchers too even though I have another stone to get to my goal.

However, what this experience has taught me so far is just how many friends I have got and how kind people can be. For example, my WeightWatchers leader made me a gold member so that I can still join in without being under pressure to lose weight. My house looks like a florist and the cards are too numerous to count.

I am going to beat this cancer with love, hope and strength and I will be back to let you know how I get on with my treatment.

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Updated: 28 September 2009