Claire's Story

“When I found out I had cancer, it was a huge shock. I found a lump when I was breastfeeding my 7 month old daughter. 2 months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When you hear that word ‘cancer’, it’s devastating. Even after surgery, chemotherapy and now radiotherapy, I still can’t believe it’s happening to me. I’m young, healthy, I exercised regularly and had a good diet. Before this cancer seemed like something that happened to other people. I’d hear about charities such as Penny Brohn UK and think that they sound like they’re doing a good job, but you don’t expect to be someone that needs their services.

Following my treatment, I really struggled with my fatigue, especially with a now 17 month old. I am still very early in my journey with Penny Brohn UK, but feel grateful and reassured that there is support there to help both now, and in the future, if I need it.

Following my breast cancer diagnosis, I had surgery and shortly after started seven rounds of chemotherapy. This had a huge toll on my body and still does today. It’s just horrible. It made me so tired. I found simple daily tasks and activities that I was used to doing draining. I wasn’t prepared for how much cancer would impact every area of my life. It felt like it took over my life and I couldn’t be me. I am now, as we speak, going through two rounds of radiotherapy. And again, the fatigue has been difficult to deal with.

I have signed up to acupuncture and reflexology sessions through Penny Brohn UK’s partnership with GenesisCare and I really hope they help with my fatigue. People keep telling me I bet you can’t wait to go back to normal, but I have realised it’s not as simple as that. I know I will never be how I was before; it will be a different type of normal after you experience something like cancer, but it’s reassuring knowing there is support out there.

I don’t think I have truly dealt with my diagnosis, or had the time and headspace to deal with my emotions. When you are in the whirlwind of scans, appointments, and treatment, you feel occupied. However, the emotional impact has only started to hit me.

I have also signed up to some Penny Brohn UK online nutrition sessions and thinking of reaching out about their counselling service. I feel like the full impact of my diagnosis is only just starting to impact my emotional health and is something I feel I would like support with in the future.

I’m hopeful for a future where I can spend quality time with my little girl, to feel great and like me again.”

Useful resources: online sessions

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