I am a Survivor!

While pregnant with my son I discovered a lump in my right breast. At first I thought it was my imagination but decided to see my GP. She confirmed that there was something there but thought it was nothing to worry about, probably a blocked milk duct due to my pregnancy. She referred me to the breast unit at my local hospital who carried out a scan and a biopsy. A week later I returned for my results. I was 24 weeks pregnant

I was given a positive diagnosis of breast cancer. Upset is not the word — my whole world was turned upside down. I was too young to die — I was only 37 and I had an unborn child and two daughters who were only seven and ten. I decided the only thing to do was fight this terrible disease that touches so many people…not only patients but their friends and families too.
At 28 weeks pregnant I had a lumpectomy and removal of my lymph nodes, then at 31 weeks I delivered my son, who was so tiny he couldn’t breathe unaided so he spent the first few weeks in the special baby care unit. This was such a traumatic time. Two weeks later I began six months of chemotherapy, 27 days of radiotherapy, then five years of tamoxifen.

I could not have gotten through this chapter of my life without the support of my family and friends, and I cannot thank them enough.

On March 7, 2012 I celebrated ten years of being free of cancer, which was a milestone I thought I would never see. With the excellent work of my doctors and lots of emotional support, I’m here to tell the tale.

Jean Gallagher
Renfrewshire, United Kingdom

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