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To beg you ALL to read this, for the sake of your health, please ladies.

(81 Posts)
Vallhala Wed 31-Aug-11 21:33:12

Inspired by a thread currently in Chat, PLEASE take a couple of minutes to read this and a couple more to act on it, for YOUR sake and that of those you love.

I'm (I hope!) a reasonably intelligent woman, I'm fairly health and news aware, I knew about breast cancer. I knew that it is rarely found in someone with no family history of it, who doesn't eat meat, who is slim and fit, who is under 40.

And I know that women like that generally think the same way. And as a result, like me when I was under 40, they don't check their breasts, they go about life each day informed of an issue which doesn't concern them personally.

Just like I did... until I got to the age of 37 and discovered a lump in my breast by chance when I was having a bath.

I'm one of the lucky ones.

I had a lumpectomy and subsequently my ovaries removed to prevent my body producing oestrogen that could kill me. I've a dent in my boob, was hurled into instant menopause following the ovarian surgery with all the horrible and very pronounced effects that go with it but I'm alive and my children still have a mother.

If this inspires just ONE woman to check her breasts, one woman who would otherwise think as I did that it can't happen to her, I've done right, as painful as it is to me for the memories to be brought back. I'll show my scar off, talk about it to strangers, nag folk, do whatever it takes to prevent someone else's children from losing their mother.

So please ladies, no matter how young, how fit you are, how good you feel... check your breasts and tell every other woman you know my story.

Sn0wflake Wed 31-Aug-11 21:35:04

Thank's will do.

biddysmama Wed 31-Aug-11 21:35:38

thankyou smile

and i'm glad you caught it in time, female cancers run in my family so i check regularly

mummymccar Wed 31-Aug-11 21:40:16

Thank you for this thread. I'm so sorry to hear what you've been going through, I really hope that you are doing better now. You have incidentally, reminded me that I haven't checked this week (I usually check on same day each week but was feeling poorly), so thank you. Wishing you the best.
very un-Mumsnetty XXX (but I think you deserve it)

Vallhala Wed 31-Aug-11 21:40:52

Thank YOU. Tears in my eyes as I read that you will check yourselves.

Vallhala Wed 31-Aug-11 21:43:26

Thank you too mummy. I got my best as you can get all clear 5 years and am now on 2 yearly mammograms, all was well with the last a couple of months ago. Nine years ago and still going strong. smile

Most women DO survive, as I did, they just need to catch the bastard early enough.

BikeRunSki Wed 31-Aug-11 21:45:45

Thank you. And so glad that you are doing OK.

My uncle was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer three years ago, but has "recovered". He had family history, was late 50s and overweight, yet still it took him 2 years to go to the docs. He says - never stop your blokes from sticking their hands down their pants - you never know what they'll find.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 31-Aug-11 21:48:22

I think regular breast screening is over fifty isn't it?
I found my lump when I was 44, I had a mastectomy and six months of tamoxifen.
I had a reconstruction a couple of years later.
I never checked until after friend had breast cancer, she was exactly the same age as me, so I started to do it and found a lump.
I think all women should just do a random check in the shower/bath, it doesn't take a minute.
It's eminently treatable these days, and the earlier caught the better.,

overmydeadbody Wed 31-Aug-11 21:49:58

Thank you and I am glad you are ok.

I try to regularly check my breasts every time I have a bath.

wordfactory Wed 31-Aug-11 21:51:00

Val that is a great post and I'm so glad you now have the all clear.

Checking breasts is somnething we should all do regularly. Though a few friends and I admitted to one another that we weren't entirely sure what we were looking for given how lumpy breasts can be at different times of the month.

Is a problem lump obviously different?

vez123 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:51:09

Thanks. My mum found a lump in her breast when she was 38. No family history. It turned out to be cancer. After an op, chemo and radiotherapy she was cancer free for 13 years but it did come back unfortunately.
I will check myself when I go to bed. Thank you.

LifeHope11 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:53:28

Thank you for posting here. Your post may very well lead to someone's life saved.
And I am glad that you have made it through what must have been a very hard and traumatic time for you and your family.

Vallhala a very important post.

Glad to hear you are all clear,

I have a family history of breast cancer so get checked by the family history clinic each year. It took me a couple of years to get the courage to discuss it with my GP but I was really glad when I did.

BTW my stepmum had breast cancer in her mid thirties was treated, lived to her 70's and died of something unrelated (women really do survive into old age after breast cancer).

kerala Wed 31-Aug-11 21:53:46

My friend is your (our) age. Hers breast cancer has spread to her lungs and brain. Am currently struggling to deal with this she is being incredible.

Vallhala Wed 31-Aug-11 21:53:52

"He says - never stop your blokes from sticking their hands down their pants - you never know what they'll find."

Love your uncle, BikeRunSki. (And gosh, do you REALLY do all those mad things?!).

Lady, I hope very much that the bloody thing is one of the past for you too. Tamoxifen is a bitch, isn't it? Necessary but horrid side effects. I was supposed to take it for 5 years, managed about 4 and then stopped, not recommended but it was right for me.

mummymccar Wed 31-Aug-11 21:56:38

So glad to hear that you've been given the all-clear and that you are doing well now. It is such an awful illness and I'm so glad you caught it early.

BikeRunSki Wed 31-Aug-11 21:59:32

Yes, I really do all those mad things, except I am 32 weeks pg, so not at the moment. Uncle was having chemo whilst I was hospitalised with hyperemisis when I was expecting DS. On the day DS was born, uncle did the Race for the Future in his best ever time. DS's middle name is after my uncle.

ginmakesitallok Wed 31-Aug-11 22:03:27

Yes I check regularly - a good friend has just decided to stop chemo after bones mestateses following breast cancer. She has been so brave - but knows that she will leave her 2 children in the near future. sad

Meglet Wed 31-Aug-11 22:07:35

Checked mine. I get tenderness in my left breast so saw the GP last year and she gave them the once over too. The tenderness seems to be linked to my cycle, luckily no lumps.

Vallhala Wed 31-Aug-11 22:08:03

kerala and gin, my heart and thoughts are with you and yours.

elliejjtiny Wed 31-Aug-11 22:09:04

Thankyou for this thread. I check mine regularly anyway but it's always good to be reminded. Glad you are free of it now too.

spiderlight Wed 31-Aug-11 22:10:42

Checked. I have family history so I'm always torn between the knowledge that I must check and the fear that I'll find something, but thanks for you, I now know that just for today they are OK.

spiderlight Wed 31-Aug-11 22:10:53

*to you

hairfullofsnakes Wed 31-Aug-11 22:13:53

Thank you Valhalla - and I'm so glad to hear you are doing so well. What an inspiring lady you are - and so caring too x

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 31-Aug-11 22:14:08


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