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Being positive

Grandparents and children sharing tips and stories

From Debbie Wilson in Cheadle Hulme

I'm 55, sporty and very healthy. I watch what I eat, don't drink and generally look after myself.

My grandmother died of ovarian cancer and my sister died at 42 of breast cancer, so I've been on a programme to check for both types of cancer. At 47 I had a hysterectomy, so with the ovaries gone I didn't have to be screened.

In March 2008 I had a regular mammogram which was clear. On Monday 24th November 2008 I discovered a lump in my breast and went to my doctor. By the Friday I was at the hospital where I had another mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. The consultant was very honest and I could tell he was concerned.

On Saturday 6th December he performed a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous lump and took away 18 of the lymph nodes, 4 of which were cancerous. The tumour was pretty aggressive, so he sent me for a CT scan and a bone scan. I had about 10 days to wait for the results as this was now during the Christmas period, so this seemed like an eternity.

It was all good news thankfully, except for a dodgy right knee which I'd asked them to look at whilst I was having my bone scan. He thinks it will probably be rheumatism (which is the least of my worries). I'm to have an MRI scan on my brain tonight (just to make sure there is nothing lurking there), followed by a heart check on Monday, prior to my chemo starting next Wednesday.

Instead of my diary being booked up with the theatre, dinners and catching up with my friends, it is now full of hospital appointments. I'm even off to check out some wigs next week - I thought different ones for different days!

The hardest part for me was actually telling people, especially my mum as she's been through an awful lot over the years, and I know she worries about me. My daughter copes very well, as she has her husband to talk to. I have some fabulous friends, who have been re-christened Carer 1, Carer 2 etc., and they all have their roles to play.

I am an extremely positive person and hopefully this transmits to other people. I know the next few months will have their ups and downs, but I aim to get back onto the golf course as much as I can, and make it into work, as I know this will be my best form of recuperation.

I've had the most fantastic treatment at The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Cheshire and I'm sure I'll be seeing an awful lot of them during the months to come. I'm currently looking at booking a fantastic holiday, probably to Australia with my friend in October - can't wait!

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Updated: 28 September 2009