07 October 2019
“You always think ‘it won’t happen to me’ - but it can,” says mum-of-two Hannah Perry, who discovered a lump in her breast during one of her self-checks.
Once spotted, 39-year-old architect Hannah, of Sutton Coldfield, acted immediately and booked in to see her GP.
She was referred to Mr Naren Basu, a Consultant Breast Surgeon at Spire Little Aston Hospital, who carried out a series of tests.
“Waiting for the initial diagnosis was so incredibly hard, and obviously finding out it was cancer was devastating but, once I knew what the treatment plan was I found it helped to focus on each little step without thinking too far ahead,” explained Hannah.
She said: “As soon as someone mentions chemotherapy your immediate thought is ‘I’m going to lose my hair’ - and I did - but it’s not as bad as it seems.
“I bought a lovely hat to wear and looked at the positives - I didn’t have to wash and style my hair anymore and could save on trips to the hairdresser.
“Chemotherapy can affect people so differently and before the first treatment I was incredibly scared. However, the nurses were so caring and compassionate and I was very fortunate that I didn’t suffer too badly.
“For a couple of days after each treatment I didn’t feel too good but in-between treatments I was able to look after the kids, meet friends, walk and even go away for a night!
“My family and friends were a huge support, but it was also important to be able to talk openly about my fears with people who were not family or friends. My Breast Care Nurse Gill has been a key person during my treatment – she was always there for me when I needed her, and still is.”
Now Hannah has pledged her old-style ‘irregular’ self-check regime has been ditched for a ‘first of the month’ thorough self-examination.
She said: “Set a date and make sure you stick to it - it could be the beginning or end of the month - anything that helps you to remember. Regular checks are so important yet it is easy to get distracted by life and forget to carry them out.
“Make sure you’re aware of all the symptoms and if you feel or spot something unusual see your GP as soon as possible. I know it can be scary but spotting a lump doesn’t mean you have breast cancer. However, it is better to be safe than sorry so don’t keep it to yourself!”