Thank you so much to The Pink List for inviting me to share some of my story! I’m Sophie, I’m 26 and was diagnosed with stage 2/ grade 3 ER/PR +ve HER- breast cancer in November 2021. I am also a cancer nurse and have been working in oncology and administering chemotherapy for the last 5 years!
I have been blogging since I got diagnosed on my website thecancernursethatgotcancer.com. My diagnosis was a huge shock, despite my job I was massively naive that it would happen to me. I had no risk factors, no family history and no genetic involvement. It just proves that cancer does not discriminate. Cancer is unfair and cancer is random. Getting cancer has no reflect on you and anything you have done.
I have now undergone a lumpectomy and thankfully my lymph nodes were clear so I am now cancer free! I have had fertility preservation and was very unwell with OHSS due to the hormones but thankfully have 4 embryos and 12 eggs frozen so fingers crossed my partner and I will be able to have a child in the future. I then started chemo! I did try cold capping but unfortunately it didn’t work for me and I have now lost all my hair. This was undoubtably the hardest part for me. I lost all confidence, became incredibly low and didn’t leave the house for a while. I managed to get a good wig and now venturing out again on the good days! I am currently on cycle 4 out of 6 of chemo which will then be followed by 2 weeks of radiotherapy and 10 years or hormone therapy!
My cancer diagnosis has not been easy at all. It threw a huge curve ball to my life and I will likely be out of nursing for at least 9 months. However, in my personal blog I have been ensuring I pick out a positive of each milestone! The little victories are so important and I’m always reminding myself that it is all temporary. I am physically unwell with side effects for around 10 days after chemo and it is so hard. I have found many girls similar to me on Instagram and have been able to reach out when I need to on those bad days which has made a huge difference!
Cancer has definitely allowed me to appreciate life so much more and realise we are not invincible. It has made me stronger and know that you don’t need your hair to be beautiful. I will be a better nurse after this and relate to my patients going through cancer treatment so much more which I am grateful for. I now have the motivation to help others and use my story as proof that breast cancer can affect you at a young age and encourage others to check regularly! If I hadn’t detected the cancer when I had it could have been a very different story and it was a miracle I did as I didn’t regularly check! I also now encourage others to get critical illness insurance as this massively helped me whilst not working!
You are never alone and you are stronger than you think. The side effects are temporary no matter how much it doesn’t feel like it at the time and you can do this. Cancer does not define us