‘Kiss this cancer, I’m fighting fit’

“I was never going to let cancer take over my life. And keeping fit, well that’s a massive part of my life. So, I didn’t stop.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, after finding a lump in my armpit. I got it checked out to be safe – I thought I was probably too young, but you never know, do you? My GP referred me to a ‘one stop’ clinic in London. I walked in there, scared. I walked out with a breast cancer diagnosis, but a newfound determination to overcome it.

“I started to prepare for treatment. I had my eggs frozen – I don’t have kids, but didn’t want to risk that I could never have the chance to. Cancer wasn’t going to take that away from me.

“I got my hair cut into a pixie cut – I was terrified of losing my hair to chemotherapy and this felt like the right first step to make. Then chemotherapy started and, as predicted, my hair started falling out. So, I shaved it all off.

“Treatment was so tough. But I was tougher. I had six rounds of chemotherapy, as well as spending time in hospital with illnesses that were brought on by my treatments. But, I had to keep in control of my life. So, the day after my first round of chemotherapy, I completed a thirty mile bike ride in the Cotswolds. I kept running and kickboxing throughout the rest of my treatments too – keeping fit is my ‘normal’ and I needed to maintain that. I even ran a half marathon five weeks after my radiotherapy was finished.

“Since my treatments – a lumpectomy, lymph node removal, chemotherapy and 19 rounds of radiotherapy, all followed up with Herceptin and Tamoxifen drug treatments – I have made a massive recovery. I’m really well, and do ultra-marathons now too. I’ve even changed my career, becoming a personal trainer so that I can stay fit every day. That’s my way of saying kiss this, cancer.”

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