We’re getting closer and closer to Breast Cancer Awareness month! October also happens to be the month of our virtual Race 2 Cure 5K fundraiser! You can run this virtual race anywhere, any time during the month of October! Register today!
This Warrior Wednesday, we talked to Helen Jones about her battle against breast cancer. Read Helen’s story below:
OSF: Tell us your personal story.
H: I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas of 2018, only 12 months after losing my dad to cancer. With three young children, I had to remain upbeat for them as I didn’t want to spoil their Christmas! In January 2019, I underwent a mastectomy to remove the cancer and then reconstructive surgery. I was then dealt another blow when they discovered the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes under my arm. I had further surgery removing all the lymph nodes. In April 2019, I then began 6 rounds of chemotherapy followed by 15 lots of radiotherapy. The treatment took its toll, but every time I felt sick or down I just reminded myself it had to be done as I wanted to be in the best health I can for my children. My journey is still not over. I have found out I have the BRAC2 gene (cancer gene) so I am awaiting a date to have my other breast removed. I have also had my ovaries removed as a preventative measure. I have taken all steps available to hopefully prevent it from returning.
OSF: How old were you when you were diagnosed?
OSF: What did your support system look like?
H: My husband, mum, brother, brother’s wife, gran, children, and friends all were a great support. From doing the school run when I wasn’t well enough to preparing meals while my husband was at work. To my mum and brother shaving their heads in support of me losing my hair. (My husband is already bald so couldn’t shave his head 🤣)
OSF: Did you lose your hair? How did you manage this?
H: I lost my hair, but I embraced it. I took control and had my head shaved before my hair fell out to raise money for a local hospice. My mum and brother also had their heads shaved in support. My husband and brother also carried out a 999 challenge at the local gym to raise money for the hospice: 9 miles on the runner, 9 miles on the rower, and 9 miles on the bike.
OSF: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
H: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was fatigue. The chemotherapy made me so tired. I have never felt tiredness like it, but with three young children you cannot afford to be ill so I tried to carry on as normal as much as I could for them.
OSF: If you’re a survivor, how is life now compared to life before your diagnosis?
H: Life is just as good now. I’ve overcome the hurdle and enjoying every moment with my children.
OSF: What’s your best advice for anyone currently fighting cancer?
H: Stay strong. Take each treatment as it comes, don’t try to think too far ahead, concentrate on the now otherwise it can become overwhelming.
OSF: What does the Cure Bowl mean to you?
H: I have a nice memory of attending the Cure Cowl 2019. I was on holiday in Florida for Christmas and I was fortunate enough to receive tickets as a survivor. Brilliant atmosphere and met lots of inspirational people.
OSF: Do you have an inspirational quote you’re like to share?
H: Stay strong, stay focused, never give up!
Thank you to Helen for sharing her story with us.
Thank you to Dr. Phillips Charities for sponsoring our Warrior Wednesday program.
If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer and would like to share your story, please fill out this form to be considered for our next Warrior Wednesday spotlight.