I’m Jeanette Garner. I was diagnosed in January 2019 with stage 2 HER2 positive breast cancer. This has meant chemotherapy, lumpectomy, and radiotherapy, followed by Herceptin injections.
I have found who I can really rely upon.
Chemotherapy was the hardest part of my journey. My silver lining is knowing that I am now grateful for so much more than before.
I found my cancer with the help of my then 8-month-old puppy. He kept sniffing me at my left breast and on investigating I found the dreaded lump. I thought that it was probably a cyst and went to the doctor. He agreed that it could be a cyst, however after 2 attempts to drain it he gave me the referral form.
Mammogram two weeks later…..oh we need to scan….oh we need to take a biopsy… Woah! Wait! For a cyst.?? No, we are testing for cancer.. no not me, my little fried eggs are too small for anything major to be hidden in them…
Nope mother nature had other ideas.
The two weeks wait for confirmation was just a horrible time and then came the first cycle of chemotherapy in February and I was a complete mess. Guilty for having to get others to help me. My hair fell out and I cried for what felt like an age… this from the woman who had twice had her hair shaved for charity…I ended up with three hospital admissions for infections and pain. I really don’t know even now how I got through it.
Next comes the lumpectomy and I was actually quite upbeat about it… finally, the cancer should be gone. I was lucky that it was straight forward. Radiotherapy was very draining and I again felt guilty for having to ask for help. When I rang the end of the radiotherapy bell on October 19 2019 I was beyond happy. This however was only temporary and I find things get on top of me so much more.
I don’t know what or how I should or shouldn’t be feeling/doing. Some days even a year on I can’t face getting dressed. Other days I can’t wait to get out there and live my second chance of life.
Throughout all of it, I am very grateful for my friends who have been rocks of strength and the new friends I have made along the way.
One of my favourite quotes is; look out for the small things as one day you will realise they were the big things xx