Ravinder on symptoms

Close-up of Ravinder.
Close-up of Ravinder.

Ravinder felt something wasn’t right when people noticed that she had started to look physically different, having lost a lot of weight in a short space

of time. She had also begun to suffer from pain in her armpit, and one night, found a hard lump in her breast.

Ravinder's story

My life was just normal. I was a housewife. I went and helped my husband out in the family business sometimes, in the accounts department. I was looking after my two children, doing the school run, going to the gym as much as possible. I was quite happy just being busy with life and I had a good circle of friends I used to meet up with. It never occurred to me I would get cancer.
 The first sign was that a lot of people kept saying to me, 'You’re losing a lot of weight.' And I would tell them that wasn't dieting or exercising any more than I used to. I couldn't understand why I was losing weight. People said, 'Your face is getting very withdrawn and your skin is getting darker in colour.' I used to worry and think, 'Oh god, what’s wrong with me?' But I still never thought that I had cancer.

I started getting a pain under my armpit. It wasn’t a muscular pain – it was very hard to describe. It was like a trapped nerve pain. It felt very heavy at times like something was under my arm, the size of a tennis ball. I couldn’t sleep on that side and was really uncomfortable. I explained my symptoms to the doctor and he wasn’t too bothered about it. He just told me to take some painkillers and come back if the pain didn’t go away. A few days later I was watching the television one night and I started scratching my breast, and just underneath it I could feel something like a lump. It was a really hard lump. I thought maybe it was a cyst. I still didn’t connect it to cancer - but I was probably in denial.

The two week waiting period before my hospital appointment was horrendous. Each morning I’d go to the letterbox and look for my letter and there was no sign of it. So I went back to the GP and asked for a referral letter to go through my husband’s private health insurance. It was on my mind 24 hours a day. I just wanted to know, so I started Googling and came upon the Macmillan website.

Ravinder smiling.

Watch: all about Ravinder's experiences

Watch: all about Ravinder's experiences