Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How Sapna's now helping others after a shock diagnosis
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are sharing the personal journeys of some of our #wmpfamily colleagues who are survivors of breast cancer. They have bravely agreed to share their stories to raise awareness of the signs of breast cancer and to encourage people to follow the change and check campaign. This is Sapna's story.
“I went for a routine mammogram after turning 50, my first one ever.
“I never felt a lump or had any pain but now I was being told that I needed a needle biopsy, was called back for a core biopsy, then the consultant told me face to face I had early stage breast cancer.
“When I was told I had to ask the consultant if it definitely was cancer, as it was so unexpected.
“I had the lumpectomy, which for me was very painful post op. I couldn't lift anything for weeks. I had radiotherapy, and after that I had pain all over my body, I was very slow and even now I struggle to walk at times. The after effects from this can last up to a year or more.
“Work were amazing and I had great support from my colleagues, supervision and management. I had a great team of friends who drove me to my daily radiotherapy sessions for three weeks, making my life easier.
“I had never had six months off work before, so felt guilty, but I was reassured to just get better first before coming back.
“The help, understanding, kindness and support of the hospital staff, work colleagues, friends and family got me through a traumatic time. Having the treatment so quickly to stop the cancer from spreading was a relief and not having to worry about work and the bills as I was off helped enormously.
“I would say to anyone that is diagnosed with cancer that if you can confide in a good friend or family member, or a person that has been through the same thing, it may help them. I am now a cancer buddy at work and support other colleagues who are going through similar circumstances.
“I always appreciated life before, but now I feel very lucky. I had an early diagnosis and received treatment so quickly. It just highlights the importance of a mammogram.”
Sapna Patel, Force Contact