Here at Prevent Breast Cancer, we’re always looking for supporters to share their inspirational stories. Siobhan was only 23 when she discovered what she thought was a pimple but was in fact stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. In this blog, Siobhan tells her breast cancer story in her own words.
Could you share with us a summary of your experience with breast cancer?
I had a difficult time getting a breast cancer diagnosis. In November 2020, I went to see my GP because I was feeling tired. In December 2020, I found a lump when I was checking my breasts in the shower. My lump was growing and the NHS waiting list times had increased due to the Covid pandemic, so I had to pay £430 for a private scan. Then I went back to the NHS for a scan and biopsy. In June 2021, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at age 23. I was also told to isolate for my surgery the following week. After my lumpectomy, I started fertility treatment in preparation for chemotherapy. I completed eighteen weeks of chemotherapy, followed by two weeks of radiotherapy.
Now that I have completed treatment, I am focusing on improving my fitness level so I can get back to work.
Why is Prevent Breast Cancer your chosen charity, Siobhan, and why did we stand out to you?
I want to continue raising breast cancer awareness and share my story with Prevent Breast Cancer. I found my breast lump and knew it was not normal for my body. I want others to get to know what their normal is.
I was relieved when I found out that I do not have the BRCA gene, but I would like to know what causes triple negative breast cancer. This is why research is so important and I have agreed to take part in a clinical trial. Hopefully the treatment has prevented my cancer from coming back and being part of a clinical trial gives me more reassurance.
Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who has been through a similar experience?
‘The comeback is stronger than the setback’. This quote was printed on the t-shirt I wore for my first chemotherapy and when I braved the shave. You find the strength when you need to and everybody has a different journey. I have taken this time to focus on myself and get better. Remind yourself that it is not selfish, it is self-care. I have found writing my thoughts down and talking to people helpful.
What does a breast cancer free future mean to you?
I want to continue to be breast cancer free so I can live my life to the fullest. I hope no one else has to struggle to get diagnosed and then have their life put on hold by breast cancer.
Thank you so much to Siobhan for sharing her inspirational story with us.