Kia ora cancery people! Today's episode is the last before I take a quick break to recharge and find more stories from people like us.
If you're new - The C Word Radio is the podcast for cancery people who want real conversations about cancer. Hosted by me, Helen King, a Kiwi who had breast cancer in 2018.
I've gone solo for the first time in an episode to tell you about my story with cancer. I've never done an episode like this and I hope you enjoy it.
I was having a shower when I found my lump on my right breast. I was starting a new job and didn't think anything of it, I was 37 so cancer didn't seem like a possibility!
I went to an emergency GP to get the lump checked out and was told not to worry I was 'too young for it to be anything sinister". The doctor diagnosed me with non-lactating mastitis and gave me a script for anti-biotics and told me I could get an ultrasound.
I knew by the look on the sonographers face the three dark shadows on the screen were cancer. Within a week I was diagnosed with Her2 positive breast cancer and booked in for a mastectomy. I had a full right mastectomy with no reconstruction, lymph nodes removed, fertility preservation, chemo, radiation and a year of herceptin.
Once I came out the other end of treatment I felt lost, angry and full of grief. I didn't know where to get support or how I could 'move on'. It wasn't until I did a weekend retreat where I was with fellow cancery people and could talk openly about how cancer had impacted me where I really started to heal.
For some people post-cancer life is a chance to reinvent themselves, for me I felt like I had lost my identity. This is why I started the C Word Radio - I wanted to find a way to make sense of what happened.
I love to know if you relate to my story!
Survey: I am doing a listener survey to find out what you love and what you think I could do better. Let me know if there are any topics you want me to cover or nominate someone to be a guest click here.
Music - Happy Days, Scott Holmes