Dingle Marathon runner Rosie Palmer
June 12, 2019

Breast cancer survivor running Dingle Marathon on behalf of Irish Cancer Society

Rosie Palmer is running the 2019 Dingle marathon on behalf of the Irish Cancer Society.

Rosie was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2013, just after her 37th birthday.

‘’I initially needed a lumpectomy, four cycles of chemotherapy, 33 rounds of radiation and eventually a double mastectomy’’.

A few weeks before her mastectomy, Rosie went to her GP as she had noticed a little lump on her arm which hadn’t been there before. Her GP referred her to a dermatologist who removed it for biopsy. She was told that she had cancer again, this time it was malignant melanoma.

‘’I felt like my world had crashed in and all I could think about was running out of the hospital and being with my daughter who was only two at the time. Not long after, my wonderful surgeon, Mr. McDermott called me to tell me they had managed to get it all with the surgery, and I wouldn’t need any further treatment, just 3-monthly check-ups and I could never expose my skin to the sun again. A small price to pay. I had never been a sun-worshiper anyway’’.

‘’Health-wise things went well for the next 18 months. We had a couple of lovely holidays and bought a new house. Then in March 2016 I felt a pain under my right arm, and I knew straight away it was cancer again. I made an appointment with my surgeon and a week later I was told that the breast cancer had returned and I would need to have all my lymph nodes removed under my right arm. I would of course need chemo again, this time 16 cycles, followed by 25 rounds of radiation. From finding the lump second time round, to finishing treatment took the best part of a year’’.

‘’I initially started running after finishing my first round of treatment in December 2013. On my first run I managed about 400 meters before I had to stop. The following day I managed a little more, and so on until I was running 10k. When the breast cancer came back I tried to keep running but with the severely reduced energy and wearing a hot wig, I couldn’t manage more than 2 or 3k, but it was better than nothing.

"After I finished that round of treatment and my hair started to grow again I got back into it, working my way up to half marathons. Now I’m at a point where I feel I can take on a bigger challenge, a full marathon. It goes without saying that I will be raising money for the Cancer Society. Every cent raised can make a difference, whether it goes towards the exceptional cancer support services, or is invested in research. While I was ill I often used the Cancer Society website for reference, advice and largely for the security of knowing that I was not alone’’.

A huge thank you to Rosie for sharing her story with us!