Patient Story: Jane Kapoor

Mrs Kapoor began her treatment for breast cancer in March 2015, here she shares her story from finding a lump to her current treatment.

"While doing a self examination I found what I felt like a lump in my left breast. Luckily for me one of my closest friends is a doctor and lives close by, so I was able to pop over to get her to check I wasn't imagining it. She referred me straight away and I was able to get an appointment for the following day with Mr Ravichandran (consultant surgeon, specialising in breast cancer).

"I had a mammogram and ultrasound on both breasts. Two lumps were found in my left breast and I had biopsies on both. A week later Mr Ravichandran confirmed I had breast cancer. Surgery followed a week later, a left-sided mastectomy performed at the Spire Harpenden Hospital, and three days later I was back at home.

"Everything happened so quickly, my emotions were all over the place. I went through the 'why me' phase, the angry phase and the 'it’s not fair' phase, but after all that you have to just accept that you have been dealt a rather nasty set of cards and get on with it.

"From my very first appointment with Mr Ravichandran, I met my breast care nurse Jacqui, she has been amazing. Calling me for a chat, to see how I am, if I have any concerns or questions, nothing was too much trouble for her. Jacqui has been so supportive and made the journey for easier than I ever thought would be possible.

"A couple of weeks after surgery, I met with my oncologist Dr Ah-See. She explained my treatment plan – six months of chemotherapy, followed by five weeks of radiotherapy. Prior to the treatment starting I had a full body scan and various MRI scans and had my port fitted.

"Again my treatment is at the Spire hospital in Harpenden, on the Heartwood ward, my chemo is due to finish at the beginning of September. The staff on the ward are brilliant, before your treatment is due to begin they have you in for a chat to explain everything that is going to happen, any side effects you may experience and go through any concerns you may have.

"Debbie sat down with my husband and I, she told us all we needed to know and really helped to put my worries aside. I can't praise all the nurses enough; they always welcome you with a smile and spend as much time with you as you need.

"Living in Harpenden and having my treatment at the Spire has been invaluable. Having a private room means that my family can come and sit with me and keep me company while I am having my treatment. My family have truly been incredible these past months, I couldn't have coped as well as I have without their constant support."

Have you changed anything since your diagnosis?

"Exercise, something I should have been doing it always found an excuse not too! My doctors all advised that sensible eating and exercise are vitally important to staying healthy. I now use my cross trainer four or five times a week and eat plenty of fruit and veg. I also take a vitamin D tablet which was also recommended."

What advice would you give to someone about to start the same process?

"Diagnosis will come as such a shock but the sooner you accept that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change what has happened to you, the sooner you can get better. I can’t emphasise enough to anybody newly diagnosed that the most important thing they can do is stay positive.

"Don't try and let any negative thoughts drag you down, you can't think about the what if’s – it doesn't help!! You have to stay positive, it's my new mantra.

"Also, listen to our doctors, ask lots of questions. It helps to take somebody with you, there is a lot of information to process, two sets of ears are better than one!"

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