‘Even though I had thought about it and tried to mentally prepare myself, there is nothing that you can really do to prepare yourself for hearing the words ‘You have cancer’’
A Lisburn mother has said losing a breast didn’t bother her when ‘weighing it up against saving my life’ after surviving breast cancer.
Mother-of-two Tracy McCausland decided to get herself a mammogram to prepare for turning 50. Tests showed that Tracy’s breast showed several more areas that were believed to be either cancerous or pre-cancerous.
Tracy was shocked. ‘Even though I had thought about it and tried to mentally prepare myself, there is nothing that you can really do to prepare yourself for hearing the words ‘You have cancer’’ she said.
Tracy decided to remove her left breast through a mastectomy. ‘The decision to proceed with the mastectomy was actually an easy one to make. I have two boys, one of whom has a severe learning disability and my core driver was that I needed to be around for as long as possible for the two of them. I went into the procedure with my eyes open and the optimism that we would get rid of the ‘so-and-so’ cancer. Losing a breast honestly didn’t bother me when weighing it up against saving my life’.
As she continued her journey with cancer, Tracy continued her blog about her experiences. ‘It kind of became a scorecard as I started to keep track of how many people were contacting me to say that my story encouraged them to book their mammogram’. This ranged from friends to complete strangers. Tracy’s story encouraged women to allay their concerns and get themselves checked.
After her successful mastectomy, Tracy’s experiences encouraged her to fundraise for the charity Action Cancer and she, alongside her friends have raised over £4,000 for the charity. ‘I am so grateful to Action Cancer for the amazing service they provide. They saved my life’.
Action Cancer offers breast screening to women aged 40-49 and 70+. Action Cancer can be found at actioncancer.org.