GET SUPPORT GET CONNECTED Your Voices Rebecca What cancer were you diagnosed with? multifocal tumour with 3 types of breast cancer What age were you diagnosed? 25 What has helped you to thrive? Positivity. It sounds cliche but a positive mindset definitely helped so much. I surrounded myself with people who knew me well and who I could talk about to anything. It also helped that when I wasn’t having a positive day they’d let me have a paddy about it then get me doing something I loved. Being diagnosed in the pandemic has meant I’ve not had the opportunity to meet people my own age in my area going through cancer treatment so social media has been a blessing. I’ve loved chatting to other young women virtually. Rebecca's Story Lying in bed one day my boyfriend noticed something different in my right breast and asked if it had always been there. In all honesty I didn’t know. All I did know was that I could feel a lump. To be honest I wasn’t worried. Young people don’t get cancer, well that’s what I thought anyway. I’d never had any serious medical issues, lockdown had given me time to get fitter and stronger than I’d ever been so it couldn’t happen to me. But it did. After plenty of nagging from my boyfriend I went to the GP who reassured me it would be hormonal changes but referred me to the breast clinic anyway. A few weeks later I saw the consultant who told me not to worry, so I didn’t. Walking into the room with my consultant I still wasn’t worried. Nothing had twigged, not when they decided to biopsies, not when they were looking at my lymph nodes, not when they told me to bring someone with me to the hospital. After the news I felt numb, it didn’t feel real. After that everything happened so quickly. I had a lumpectomy 5 days later and everything was going well until I started spouting blood from my surgical wound (of course it was Friday night!). After a few trips to A&E over the weekend and Monday rolled round my consultant had all of 3 minutes to tell me that histology revealed the tumour was much bigger than the scans had revealed and it was more aggressive. At this point I balled. I’d barely cried after the first diagnosis, but this time it felt too much. I swore a lot. I had more surgery the next day and some good news thankfully followed. No spread! Because most of the tumour was ER+ / HER- I qualified for oncotype testing. My score was very low meaning chemo wouldn’t be effective so I went straight into endocrine therapy and had fertility treatment to save my eggs. I now have regular injections, infusions and tablets for the next 10 years to keep the cancer at bay. Doesn’t mean the fear of reoccurrence isn’t real though.