Patsy McCann from Dublin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 at the age of 68.
‘’While walking the Camino in Spain, I discovered a lump in my breast. I'm ashamed to say I wasn't one for checking myself, so it was a miracle that I found the lump. My diagnosis was confirmed in October 2019 and, of course, I was devastated," she said.
"My immediate reaction was that this was going to cause me many sleepless nights of worry. I prayed that I would accept this and keep calm throughout. I have to say that I never slept better during the whole treatment,’’ Patsy said.
Patsy had chemotherapy from November to March, 4 sessions at 2 week intervals and 8 sessions weekly.
"I lost my lovely hair but was very proud of my bald head, I even let my family take photos (my hair has grown back less grey and a different texture which I'm very happy with).’’
Patsy had a Lumpectomy at the end of April 2020 and radiation in June for 3 weeks, all of which went well and the doctors were all very pleased with her progress.
‘’The one thing I couldn't accept was the terrible tiredness which, me being a very active person, was unacceptable,’’ Patsy said.
Covid-19 was a worry for Patsy during her treatment. ‘’My cancer treatment was overshadowed by COVID-19 in our country, which in a way was a distraction, because I was much more worried about getting the virus than worrying about my cancer.’’
Patsy finished her treatment in July and get the all clear in October 2020.
‘’I had decided at the beginning of my treatment, after reading the cancer booklet that one note I read in the booklet was: Think about how you would cope with the information, before asking for your prognosis. So I decided that my journey would be one treatment at a time, and I didn’t consult Google, or ask too many questions. I trusted by medical team.
"That is how I got through my cancer, I know it wouldn't be for everyone but it worked for me (a worrier usually). Thank God I am well and getting back my fitness level I had before," she said.
The Irish Cancer Society Support Line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm for support and advice on any cancer related issue.