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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

Stay Positive, Stay Strong..And Be The Warrior That We All Have In Us

Written by Lisa Woodhead on 
3rd May, 2020
Updated: 27th September, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

I am 48 this year, a mother of an amazing young man who is 18 in July ,a beautiful step daughter who is 18 in Dec and married to my husband for 8 years this October, I had to marry before my 40th so I did so 3 days before the big birthday..

I am a self employed hairdresser and have loved my job since I started sat work at 15.

It is also a hindrance as, my goodness it has hit is financially me being off work so long.

Nobody chooses this evil decides yet we get hardly any help at all..that certainly has been one main worry.

It's a year this month since I found my lump thanks to watching my idol Martina Navratilova in the ladies full monty programme

I am a huge fan of Wimbledon, it made me think about checking my boobs, so the next morning I did and felt a lump. I rang the doctors and got in that morning, to which she felt a walnut-size lump and referred me straight away.

Within 2 weeks I was in for a check, was sent for a mammogram and a biopsy straight away to be told 2 weeks later I would need a lumpectomy..a wire-guided surgery. 

I was HER2 positive, so it was aggressive and invasive.

It was my HRT that caused this although I had been on it over 18 months.

But

(6 weeks before when picking up my prescription they could not get my usual HRT so gave me an alternative!! Although telling me they would notify my doctor of the change they did not..)

I was a shock but I took it in my stride, on the 5th July my op delayed by 10 days and after much nagging, I went into surgery. I had the radiation injection as well and my first lymph node removed as there were small cancer particles in that one.

That meant chemo, unfortunately, which was the first cry I had been told I would prob lose my hair..that to be fair was the only decent thing I wanted to keep..

Stay Positive,Stay Strong..and Be The Warrior That We All Have In Us

It went very well although it had grown to the size of a golf ball within that month.

I also had an infection for 6 weeks.

That delayed chemo, I was to have targeted therapy as well for 21 cycles every 3 weeks.

I was surprised that it was so many to be honest, that takes me to october this year..

Chemo was not the best thing to go through.

From the rough tired feeling to the sore mouth, constipation then diareah the steroids making me want to party and clean the house at 2am and eat everything in sight!! Then feel sick..

But every day was a new challenge to the side effects and I took it day by day..

1

Being positive and not overthinking and looking too far ahead I think helped me so much.

I never actually said I had the C word, it wasn't denial it was just bypassing the thought of this evil thing in my body that shouldn't be there.

I Finished my chemo beginning of December.

I then had 11 more lymph nodes removed which I was so pleased to find were clear, which meant I was cancer free..but my goodness if I had known the pain and implications I wish I had never had it done.

I have then had 1 month of radiotherapy, the last week was a booster week, which ended 3 weeks ago, I have had the worse sores underneath which is just about healing.

I did everything advised from cool showers to moisturizing 2 times a day which I do anyway as my targeted therapy drys out my skin.

Its certainly had been a journey of different obstacles but I have only cried 2 times, I have been angry but mainly positive and upbeat.

And I never let it get me down.

As a hairdresser I found it hard to shave my hair off but felt quite liberated afterwards.

I found it best to take every day as it came, good or bad.

My support network has been unbelievable, from family to my salon family and my friends and customers. I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life.

2

My lovely friend Nicola at work decided to do a skydive and we did the wear it pink day, we had a cake sale too and raised over £3000 for Breast Cancer..she has been amazing, not one day did she miss messaging me or calling me, without her I can say I would have struggled more.

It makes me realize and cherish every single person in my life who I owe dearly too..

Now as I was ready for healing and looking forward to gradually bringing myself to the land of work again with the current lockdown situation its added another obstacle, but not long and I can start to enjoy being out and about again.

My belief is to

Stay positive,stay strong..and be the Warrior that we all have in us we didn't know until we need it.we are stronger than we think because we have to be..

Lisa South

Cancer free..

Further reading

Six Best Gift Ideas For A Chemotherapy Survivor: For Celebration & Recovery

Ultimate Chemotherapy Care Package

Mum, Cancer and Me:  How I Helped My Mum Fight Back From Across the Miles 

How To Support Someone Going Through Chemo: Easy and Not So Easy Tips

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