“After noticing a lump on my left leg, I took myself to the doctor. The lump was thought to be a fatty cyst and I was referred to a surgeon to have it removed. As a precautionary measure, the removed tissue was tested and I will never forget the look on the surgeon’s face when he sat me down with the results and said – “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer”.
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and from there began all the x-rays, MRI’s, heart scans and CT scans – I had no idea there were so many machines! And then the chemotherapy and sessions of radiotherapy commenced.
I am 59 years old and have been married to my husband, David, for 35 years. We have two beautiful daughters – Jessica and Alexandra – and four absolutely amazing grandchildren. Cancer wasn’t on my agenda, but unfortunately it doesn’t discriminate. And the irony of my diagnosis was that I had no symptoms and was feeling better than ever.
I was quite nervous when I attended my Look Good Feel Better workshop. I had lost all my hair and my eyebrows, and was thinking I was the only person that looked like this. On arrival at the workshop I was met by a lovely volunteer who directed me to my seat in a room filled with women who were younger and older, and clearly at different stages of their treatment. My nerves soon faded because everyone was so welcoming, and by the time the workshop finished I felt a little more attractive and worthwhile, and we all left with a smile. The cosmetic gifts we received were also wonderful.
I have been cancer free for one year now and there are so many things that I still have to do! I have to have fun, go on holidays, love and cuddle my grandchildren, and share stories with them.
Cancer changes lives, people and families and it has taught me that life is so precious and it can change in a second. I don’t let little things eat away at me anymore and I don’t stress over silly things. I am not so judgemental, as I understand that everyone is fighting their own battles.
I would recommend Look Good Feel Better to all women going through treatment. It is an activity that actually makes you feel better about yourself and it’s also comforting to know that there are others out there feeling just the same as you.”