Tracey Rutland

It was March 2011 and I was at our local shops, I felt really dizzy this day so I went into the local chemist and asked for my blood pressure to be tested. They took it twice and refused a third time and said “go straight to your doctors as I will have to call an ambulance if I do it again!!!”

I was dumbfounded, never the less I called my doctors and went that evening and she confirmed my blood pressure was sky high, I also told her about a sharp pain I was getting in my left chest. Although I couldn’t feel anything it was a sharp pain and the GP agreed to send me for a second opinion.

I was send to elective care Aintree Hospital. I was told I would have 1 of 3 things, a scan, a needle biopsy, or a mammogram, I was seen by doctor first who told me what would happen and he also examined me. He said at this stage he didn’t think there was anything to worry about.

I then had test, after test, all 3. I was told to go for a coffee and come back in 40 minutes. I did as told and my worst suspicions came true. I was told I had CANCER. My world collapsed at that second.

I asked every question that came to mind, ie how long ? That’s the first thing I thought of and was told “We don’t know until we go in and see what’s what.”

I was given options and the following week I had a lumpectomy, plus sentinel node removal.

I went back 2 weeks later and was told my lymph nodes were all clear (what a relief) but they had found a bit more CANCER, only minute but they wanted to take me back down to do a cavity scrape and make sure nothing was left, so good news in one hand and bad in the other. Never the less I went back down and 2 weeks later was given the all clear.

I then had 7 months chemotherapy, 15 days radio therapy (as it was a trial) and was given the all clear in the November 2011.

Such a relief to get to this stage as it had been quite tough. From losing your hair, to mouth ulsers, to veins collapsing etc so this was a major achievement for myself and many others that go through the same thing.

I had checks every 6 months but I wasn’t quite happy with the scar tissue from my operations, felt like it was very thick and I expressed my concern numerous times to my surgeon but I was told I was a car crash on the inside and it will be like that so I tried to put it to the back of my mind. On a few occasions he did scans but everything was fine.

Never the less April this year I had a mammogram, my normal routine one. I was given the all clear, so that was 3 years, but I was still paranoid. To be honest most of us are! When I went back to see my surgeon I told him of my fears again and he said everything felt fine but I asked for a scan and he agreed. He asked me to come back in 2 weeks but the nurse came after me and said “if you wait an hour or so we will do it today.”

I was given a scan and 3 biopsies, I was told I would need further investigations probably as she couldn’t break through the scaring. I went the next morning at 8.30am and had 6 core biopsies and again I had to wait for results.

Those fears came rushing back and when I went for my results I was told “come to think about it it does feel different!” I replied “So now you are going to tell me I have something to worry about?” and he said “Its suspicious!”

I was sent for a CT scan and a bone scan, thankfully these came back clear but the other biopsies confirmed my fears the CANCER had returned, it was classed as local reoccurance.

I opted for masectomy. The day before my operation the lovely Sam from Sam’s Diamonds came and gave me a ‘pep talk’ as my nerves where shot.

It’s now been 6 weeks since operation and although energy not quite back yet I am feeling great. I was offered chemo but was told they can’t tell me whether I would benefit or not. I refused because of this, I am now on a tablet and also calcium tablets. I get an injection once a month to push me into the menopause. I am also waiting to see my dentist to check my teeth before I go on another tablet as it can effect your teeth and the tablets are apparently every dentists nightmare.

Never the less, I feel great, onwards and upwards, little hick up along the way and my next milestone will be 5 years to celebrate and I can assure you I will be there, nothing or nobody is going to stop me. Thanks for listening to my story Tracey Rutland