Pee Po (Paula)

I’m Paula, and I was diagnosed in February 2019, with Grade 3, Sage 2/3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Cancer has meant that my body has changed and so has my approach to life.

I discovered my lump on Christmas morning 2018.  Many people told me that there was no way it could be cancer, including the first doctor that I saw.  Fortunately I followed my gut instinct and after two months of biopsies and scans I started my treatment.  

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is one of the rarest and most aggressive and the treatment matched.  However there was so much support when I looked for it, from my family and friends, from work colleagues, strangers, support groups and charities – I took every offer of help I received.  As a result there were days off respite from the treatment and we took full advantage, pushing that extra bit to make memories as a family.  

When your life is threatened so immediately, it focuses you on the value of life – that value is in the relationships you have with those you love and care for.  My treatment has been successful and now I’m grappling with an equally challenging adjustment: training myself to react but not overreact to every new change in my hyper alert body.  

For me now it’s a constant voice that lives alongside me.  But the bigger voice is the voice that tells me to live and to squeeze the most that I can out of every day.  

Early diagnosis is hugely important.  If I had ignored my suspicions even a few weeks, I would have had a very different story that someone else might have had to tell.

Pee Po (Paula)