The next year and a half was all treatment. I was an inpatient at first while I had the intense chemo. It was a very scary experience. I had three days to make a decision about whether I would have the chemotherapy. Because of the intensity of the chemotherapy I would go through the menopause. I was 38 at the time and we did not know that our family was finished. I had two beautiful girls and I realised that I had to think of my health for their sake.
The treatment was really hard. Every two weeks I had to go into hospital for a week, away from my girls, away from my husband, and be pumped with chemicals. I would then go home and have a week of lying in bed and being extremely ill, and then I had to go back and do it again. It was really hard trying to keep a smile on my face for my girls, who didn’t understand why mummy was ill – especially my youngest, Sienna. She was so small and needed her mum, and she couldn’t understand why I had to keep going to hospital. It took a lot of courage to get through that time. My husband Anthony had to take time off to look after the children and try and maintain some normality for them in the day to day life. Both girls found the whole experience really hard to process. I was going away and coming back in between treatments and it was a difficult adjustment for us all.
After the chemo I had to have six weeks of radiotherapy. Then I had more chemo and another operation. I had actually responded really well to the radiotherapy and had no side effects. It was just nice to have a break from the chemotherapy. Basically I just cracked on and did it. At times my body was starting to say no. The radiotherapy was very successful and I think also my state of mind was very different – because at the start of chemotherapy, we didn’t know if I was going to survive. At the end of those first six months, when they did the scan and saw that I was responding to the treatment, it gave me new hope.