Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer about 5 years before her 48th birthday. This is Sharon's story that she wrote in 2021.
When I was diagnosed
I was diagnosed with breast cancer coming up for 5 years in July 2021, it was a very difficult journey.
About my treatment
The treatment was gruelling, surgery, chemo, radiotherapy and I’m still on medication now. Exemestane tablets daily and zoladex injections every 28 days, this causes early menopause that’s not been fun but coping well now I’m through the worst of the symptoms.
My concerns and worries
I’m unsure if I will go through menopause again naturally if and when I stop these meds. I have an annual check up and I check my breast regularly. I try and remain confident all is well. So I try not to get anxious or worry, it helps that I have had clear results annually so far. I wanted to share my story because when I was diagnosed I never thought I would get back to full strength, it took me a while to enjoy life fully again.
The support that was offered to me I was reluctant to accept at the beginning but I slowly came to terms with my vulnerability and embraced the support. I don’t believe I would be as happy and healthy if I had not taken the support.
Maggie’s was the charity that helped me the most. They had a look good feel good course which I felt awkward at, but it was helpful. That day I got more information regards exercise classes to regain some energy. They were very good. There was always someone on hand to ask questions and offer support. At the end of those classes I was introduced to a lady that offered cooking and nutrition classes. I thought why not. The classes were fun and educational. I didn’t expect to really gain anything from it. But it was therapeutic. I was embracing the support of now being in a group with other people in my situation. I felt I could talk freely about things you just don’t share with family and friends.
The nutritional information has been the game changer for me. The course never promoted plant based meals only. But I noticed lots of the meals where vegetarian based, soups, homemade pizzas, courgette muffins, beetroot brownies (may not sound nice but they are delicious). I naturally gravitated to healthier choices. My energy levels improved so much and quite quickly too. I did still suffer fatigue but nowhere near the levels before.
Life after cancer
I will always be grateful to Maggie’s for the support. It was there for me when I needed it. In lots of ways I’m fitter and healthier than I have ever been. Which I thought just would not be possible. I am doing a charity fitness challenge this year. I’m training hard and looking forward to the challenge to raise money and give something back.
I hope by sharing my story with other survivors it will help you realise it is possible to regain your life and in lots of ways be stronger, happier and healthier.