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Well fellow breast cancer survivors – I wonder if you like me have been wondering recently if you ever had cancer at all and even if you did, was all that surgery really necessary? It is very disturbing isn’t it when just as you have come to terms with living with cancer for the rest of your life, and all the worry and insecurity which accompanies this diagnosis, when suddenly all the balls are thrown back up in the air by the very experts you had trusted to help you.
My story was similar to thousands, I had a routine mammogram and then was called back into the consultants’ office to be told there were “suspicious flecks of calcium on the scan”. I had never heard of this possibility and felt frightened and confused and left the centre refusing a biopsy but agreed to a further mammogram in six months’ time. Six months flew by, I put it to the back of my mind but went for the new mammogram, which had a similar outcome. I am totally needle phobic so yet again refused the biopsy and went home in complete denial and if I am honest feeling quite angry. I had always checked for lumps, I did not have any lumps so how could this be happening to me? Eventually my kind and caring GP persuaded me to follow up at my local hospital. I saw a consultant on the Friday and by Monday he was doing a full mastectomy and TRAM flap reconstruction – surgery which changed my life. Like many, once I had healed I thought a sunshine holiday would be good only to discover my bank travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditionswould not cover me outside Europe so my options were limited. A search on the web located specialist cancer travel insurance however and off I went with my daughter to enjoy a beginner’s scuba diving trip in Egypt.
Was it all necessary? Did I ever have cancer at all? Would those tiny specks of calcium ever have become cancerous and spread? Could they still? Well I have decided we can all only go forward, a life full of regrets is not a life well lived, and I have a lot to live for, grandchild number six is due in May which is so exciting! So I have consciously decided not to waste energy looking back and wondering anymore because the past cannot be changed – I now have worldwide annual multi trip cancer holiday insurance and I am going to make the most of life whatever it has in store for me.
Thanks again to Tricia Pearson-Tietema our Head of Medical Underwriting for today’s blog