ANZIO Digital Fighting Breast Cancer – A True First Hand Story

by Glenda.
Date: 14 September 2013

Fighting Breast Cancer – A True First Hand Story - Lincolnshire Magazine -

My name is Glenda, I’m 47 years old (I don’t like to mention my age usually but it’s quite poignant to my story), and I’ve just had my 4th round of chemotherapy for breast cancer.

I’m not Lynda Bellingham or anyone famous – I’m just me – normal really – though my friends and family may beg to differ!

Anyway let me start at the beginning...

On Saturday 25th May of this year I was just having a nice bath and a wash and I found a lump – in my right breast – it felt very large and very wrong. It being a bank holiday weekend and all I couldn’t get to my GP until the following Tuesday, who referred me to the breast clinic and made me an appointment for 2 weeks later – the 10th June.

What a long 2 weeks – I told some friends and my husband and they all said it’s okay it’ll be a cyst, apart from my good friend Mandy and my husband Nigel – who I let feel the offending object … Mandy and Nigel didn’t really say anything – it didn’t really feel like a cyst...

On the 10th June I attended the breast clinic – I took another friend – she just happens to be a Nurse Practitioner – jolly good friend to have in these situations I reckon (she also happens to be a very special cake fairy – but I’ll come to that later).

So I had an examination from a very nice consultant, followed by a mammogram (that lady was very nice too – it’s quite surprising the conversation you can have while your breasts are clamped in that machine), followed by a biopsy – well three actually – now that doctor may have been a nice man, but it blooming well hurt – so I’ll reserve judgement...

So the nice! Nurse was just dressing me after the biopsy and she said “so what do you think it is then?” I replied “you tell me” and her words were “I think we will be seeing a lot of you”... My friend and I were shown into a lovely room with settees and everything and offered coffee – you know at this point, we both knew – that lump weren’t no cyst.


The consultant and another nurse entered the room the consultant basically said that he was 99.9 per cent positive that I had an aggressive cancer – he also said that he’s not usually wrong about these things – I believed him, he asked me how I felt and my reply was “GOBSMACKED” ( I do have a way with words don’t I!).

My lovely friend and I left the hospital and my first words to her was “sh*t” and hers to me may I add! That day seems so long ago and it sort of feels like yesterday too – I admit, almost 3 months down the line and I’m still pretty much GOBSMACKED.

The difficult bit came next – I had to tell my husband and all my lovely friends – yes the ones that said it’s just a cyst, and my children (who I hadn’t told about the lump – I didn’t want them to worry). I think it’s safe to say that they were all GOBSMACKED too.

Two Types of Cancer

Two days later – the consultant told me he was right and I actually have two types of cancer in there ( don’t do things by halves me). So I have Ductal carcinoma in situ – an non-invasive cancer and C3 Invasive ductal cancer – this one is shaped like an octopus – damn him – and the C3 – well that’s pretty bad and means it’s quite large, good old Ollie is 3.5 cm long, but it’s not C4 – that one is pretty bad.

The nurse was carrying a plastic wallet – I thought it was her notes – I was wrong, it was mine to take home and read. She also said I was a Kylie (Minogue) – well she got through it and can sing – wish I could – to both!

There followed very quickly a cat scan and an ECG and an appointment with my Oncologist – I walked into the waiting room of the Oncology Unit – oh my word it was almost standing room only – I never realised there were so many people with cancer – its shocking – and humbling.

Oh and I had a marker put into my breast as the chemo is meant to be so good it gets rid of it and the surgeon doesn’t know which bit of tissue to remove – it’s a titanium coil – so I now have a titanium t*t – check me out!

First Chemo

On 21st June I had my first chemo – it’s called FEC-T (I reckon they should change the e to a u – because that’s pretty much how I feel afterwards). A nice nurse ( they’re all nice aren’t they – we should pay them more), injected some nice red liquid into my hand followed by some clear liquid, then a drip – this is the FEC.

She feeds me tablets to stop me being sick and tells me not to have take aways, that my nails will most probably turn yellow, to avoid perfumed products and crowds and that she’d be surprised if I still had hair for round two in 3 weeks time. However, we did have a nice conversation about people not looking in the mirror before they go out sometimes – all while she’s injecting poison in my veins!

Nice nurse sent me home with some injections to boost my immunity and lots of tablets to stop me being sick – they work – haven’t been sick but I do feel nauseous.

Coping With What Life Throws At You

So that’s my story – not quite to date but something to be going along with. People say why do the good people have bad things happen to them and it makes me think of a story I once read by a very wise lady called Erma Bombeck – it’s from a book of short stories called Motherhood – the second oldest profession.

It’s not about cancer – it’s about coping with what life throws at you. So in the story, God (I’m not religious – I don’t mind if you are – each to their own and I respect you for that), anyway I diversify (again).

So in the story God and an angel are allocating babies to their mothers and they give a disabled child to a particular mother and the angel asks God why are you giving this mother this disabled child and God replies “because she can cope” and the angel says okay and who will be her saint and God replies “just give her a mirror”.

I like that, I like it a lot.

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