27 February 2018
Breast Cancer Case Study - Helga (who works as Infection and Control Lead at Spire Norwich Hospital)
I had a BUPA wellness check in November 2016 and despite my glowing report (there were no obvious breast lumps), I was diagnosed with breast cancer from the mammography four days later.
The day after that shocking result I was quickly booked in for more mammograms, a biopsy and a consultant review. My surgery at Spire was a week later to remove the pea size lump and a couple of nodes from the armpit.
The care I received from all the staff was amazing, from Sam Glee (Breast Care Nurse) and Simon Pain (Consultant General Surgeon), to Vicki Tinkler (Radiology Manager) who did my mammograms and stayed with me for the biopsy and ultrasound. The theatre team (including Simon Fletcher and Emma Holmes) and night staff on the ward, and the physios with post-operative care.
Unfortunately looking back that was the easy bit of my treatment but I am so grateful it was done quickly and to suit my childcare arrangements as a single mum. The thought of having to wait for treatment would have been more stressful. My children in particular were reassured to know “the Cancer had gone” and the treatments that followed were to stop it coming back.
From Jan to May 2017 I had six cycles of chemotherapy at NNUH then a month of daily radiotherapy. Tomorrow marks my last of 17 Herceptin injections that have been given every 3 weeks so that will conclude my active treatment.
My follow up Mammogram was ‘all clear’ and life continues as a busy working Mum. All my work colleagues at Spire have been incredibly supportive during my diagnosis and treatment - 2017 was a year I don’t wish to repeat, but now seems a good time to say thank you.