Never Give Up Hope

At the age of 60 I had the routine 3-yearly mammogram. After a few weeks I got a letter asking me to go for a further mammogram, they found 2 tumours in the same breast and I was told I needed a mastectomy. I was terrified, I had never had any sort of operation in my life, and moreover I weighed 21 stone and wasn't sure they would even be able to do the operation or that I would be able to come through it safely. However the surgeon said all would be well, and it was. I was in hospital 10 days, they removed the whole breast and took out some of the lymph nodes from under my arm, and I had to go back a couple of times a week for about 5 weeks to drain off the fluid which collected - fat tissue holds a lot of water! Because they were happy that they had removed all the cancerous tissue I didn't have chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and 6 years on I am still fit and well. I have to take Arimidex for 7 years, and so next year will be the last one and I hope to be pronounced completely clear then. And I have managed to get my weight down to 17 stone just in case I should ever need another operation.
Joan Cowdell
Haverfordwest, United Kingdom