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In 2002 I had felt this uncomfortable tenderness under my armpit which gradually became painful and developed into a lump. I first thought it was just that time of the month ( I had had a hysterectomy at 35 due to cervical cancer) so thought it was my body reacting to what should have been. I ended up going to my GP for a check-up only to have scans and mamograms done confirming the cancer. My GP was very blunt and told me it had to come off!!! I was devastated!. I had been staying with my sister and I was told that I must not expect everyone's life to come to a standstill because I had cancer!! I went to a specialist surgeon who gave me the various options available only to discover after the mastecomy and the regular biopsies that the cancer was very vigorous (8) and that 2 of the lymph nodes were affected. So a week later back to theatre to have the lymph nodes removed. This was followed by 9 months of chemotherapy (my white cell count took longer to recuperate than normal) and 6 weeks of radiation. Being a single mother with two very sporty boys I just had to carry on. With the love and support from my eldest sister and her family and all my work colleagues, I was motivated and encouraged right through my ordeal. Having a positive attitude and also placing your trust in God that he will get you through no matter what, just gave me strength from day to day. So to other cancer patients, dont give up!!! Be positive!!!! God has a plan with each of our lives!!!

Bernadine
Johannesburg, South Africa

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