What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Triple Negative Breast cancer

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

Having a new perspective has really helped me to thrive. Cancer is not an experience I would wish upon anyone, yet without having gone through it, I wouldn't be the person that I am today.

I tried really hard to look for the positives in a rubbish situation and surprisingly there were plenty to be found.

The whole experience has definitely taught me that you never know what is around the corner so you must try to live each day in a way that makes you feel fulfilled and happy

Since my diagnosis I have made a lot of positive changes too in taking better care of myself, fitting in more exercise, getting more sleep and generally trying to live life at a bit of a slower pace. 

I had my treatment in my hometown of Newcastle and found the Maggie's Centre a great source of support throughout chemo and surgery. Soon after I came back to London, I went to one of Trekstock's meet up events, a picnic in Regents Park. I found it hugely beneficial to meet other young adults and exchange stories and experiences. Not long after that, I embarked on the Trekstock Renew Programme which really helped to restore confidence in my body's ability again post-surgery. The following year I completed The Jurassic Coast Challenge with Trekstock and had the best weekend! I felt very privileged to hike alongside some incredible souls with wonderfully inspiring stories.

Helen's Story

I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer at Christmas in 2017 after discovering a painful lump.
I was 33 years old and questions were raised as to whether my diagnosis may be due to a genetic mutation.
My Grandmother had died of breast cancer in her thirties but to our knowledge there weren't any other known cases in the family. Sure enough, tests confirmed that I carry an inherited BRCA1 gene mutation, putting me at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

I completed 6 rounds of chemotherapy followed by surgery and was thankful to reach remission.
With mine being the first confirmed case within the family, the ripples were far-reaching as other family members began to undergo testing.

Sadly there are others who have also discovered that they too carry the gene mutation, however, the benefit of having early insight into this knowledge will help them to reach decisions about taking steps to reduce their risk so that they hopefully won't ever face a cancer diagnosis themselves.
I have further risk reduction surgeries to complete but I'll take that on the chin if it means staying cancer-free.