Lisa Hayter

My name is Lisa and I was diagnosed in April 2015 with stage 1, grade 3, estrogen-positive breast cancer when I was 30-years-old.

I got up and decided one day that I really should start checking my boobs. So I did and I found a lump. I went to the Doctor the next day and I was told it was probably nothing to worry about and to come back in two weeks if it didn’t go away. It didn’t go away.

The cancer was grade 3 which means it is as ‘aggressive’ as they come. You know…the kind of aggressive where it would punch you in the face as soon as look at you. So I am really lucky that it was caught early.

I had a Lumpectomy, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and I’m halfway through a ten-year run of Tamoxifen to help reduce my risk of cancer coming back.

The day I was told it was cancer is a day that is seared into my memory. The first thing I said was that I didn’t want to miss out on seeing my son grow up. He was nearly two at the time. Facing the fact that I might not get that opportunity is one of the hardest things I had to deal with. But he is 7 now and I am still here watching him get taller and taller every day and I never, ever take that for granted.

Breast cancer is seen as something that happens when you get older, when it is time for the routine mammograms but being diagnosed in my 30s has made me realise the importance of people checking themselves regularly and being aware of any changes.

In an ideal world cancer wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t need to worry about lumps and dimples and weird pains. But until the lovely scientists work out how to get rid of this horrible disease then we just need to do what we can. So please once you’ve finished reading this – go check your boobs. (or your pecs…men get breast cancer too) I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’ve been through but if someone does I also want them to be diagnosed as early as possible.

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Lisa Hayter