Lydia's Breast Cancer Story

2018 a year that changed everything for me.. 

I had just moved house with my partner and we were expecting our first baby. I had never checked my breasts before... naively, cancer had not crossed my mind. Why would it? It is not spoken about enough in younger women. I was lying in bed where I saw and felt a hard lump. Even with the lump, I thought it was connected to pregnancy or an abscess. However, I went to my GP and luckily she referred me straight to the breast clinic. Within a week I was seen. An ultrasound, mammogram and a biopsy was done and after the doctor said bluntly “it looks like a tumour, prepare yourself”. Waiting a week for my results was hard. How are you suppose to prepare yourself!! I had my 27th birthday and was diagnosed the next day with triple negative, stage 3 breast cancer which had spread to the lymph nodes under my arm too. It took a long time to process...feeling numb, sadness, loss, grief and anger for the bomb that had dropped on me. At the time I was 22 weeks pregnant. 

I had to put my trust in my oncologist and have hope that the chemotherapy that I needed to start ASAP, was safe in pregnancy. Not an easy thing, as I wanted to avoid medication as much as possible. I started on AC chemotherapy and opted for a cold cap to try and reduce hair loss. I encourage people to give it ago but it didn't work for me, just added a bit more time. Cancer takes a lot of things from you and loosing my hair was the hardest thing, looking in the mirror and not recognising myself. It somehow all becomes easier with time and there are a lot of positives! No more bad hair days! Slob around in fleecy beanie hats! I style it up with a different look each day and confuse everyone... Much more fun! 

My pregnancy was not ordinary. At times, I resent it being overshadowed. I was induced at 37 weeks so I could change to stronger drugs and continue chemo with minimal delay. The good news is that I have a healthy and strong baby boy who is now 3 weeks old. I have restarted chemo and have to undergo it weekly for 10 weeks. Its been hard leaving him to continue treatment after 2 weeks but I have to see him grow. 

2018 has changed me but for the best. My attitude to life has changed. I have learnt to be more positive (although it’s not always easy!). I now take each day as it comes. I live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life! 

I am so lucky and thankful for my amazing partner, family and friends who have supported me throughout. Alongside all of them, all the NHS staff I have met over last 5 months, the multiple amazing charities such as YouCan, Harmony Trust and Macmillan have also all provided me with the best support throughout. 

I still have along way to go but I am determined to continue fighting and not give up.  If you are reading this at the start of your journey, stay positive and don't let cancer define you. You ARE always stronger than you think.


Instagram - @lydia.128


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