I was aware of a lump but I had housing issues so I ignored it. Out of the blue, a nurse at my GP’s phoned for a yearly follow up. She said she wanted to see me so I went and made a GP appointment too. My GP didn't lead me to believe it was anything to worry about.
I went to the hospital alone for an examination, but in the same day they did a biopsy too. I didn't really stop and think that cancer could be the end result. I was just moving from test to test – it was all very quick and subtle. I had two doctors do my biopsy – it really hurt and I remember really clearly one saying, 'You need to get really deep down.
I had an appointment a few weeks later for the results. There were three people in the room: the doctor, a nurse – I know now she was a breast nurse – and a student.
I remember asking 'have I got cancer?' and she said yes. She talked me through it, but it was all very surreal and I felt very much like I was on my own. I didn't really have any questions because it was too much to absorb.
I think the nurse phoned up to make my next appointment and then I left and then I... Gosh, I don’t really remember the rest, walking down the stairs, getting onto the Overground – it was very surreal.
Even though it’s a shock, it sort of feels a bit like you’re distant from it. It doesn't feel like it’s you speaking, telling people you've got cancer.
I was very emotional. I was quite wobbly; I found it very difficult to deal with. And even though I am a strong person, I needed a lot of support.