‘My skin felt waxy, but I was unaware of all the signs of breast cancer’
A HSE worker from Kildare has urged others to “listen to your body” after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47.
Sabina Reddy said that she was unaware of all the signs of breast cancer when she found a waxy-like patch on her breast in 2013.
I had just woken up and was stretching my arms in the air, and my hand brushed against my breast. It felt a bit different, so I asked my husband to check it. We both agreed that my skin felt waxy, but I didn’t have any lumps. I wasn’t overly concerned because I was unaware of all the signs of breast cancer, but I decided to get it checked at the GP. I was referred to St. James’ Hospital and was completely shocked when I was told I had a 2cm tumour on my breast bone and activity in my lymph nodes.
“The treatment hit me like a bus, but I got through it. It took me five years to feel back to normal and have my energy back.”
Sabina also highlighted the mental challenges of having cancer and said it can take a long time to come to terms with the diagnosis.
“It can really be devastating for yourself and your family. It’s also hard being in the cancer ward because you make new friends but you’re aware some of them might pass away. The year I went through cancer, five people I knew passed away. It’s very tough.”
Sabina said that the cancer support services are “invaluable” and urged others to take part.
“I take part in Relay for Life, Kildare and also a member of the Kildare Big C Choir and they are great uplifting experiences. We don’t talk about our cancers, we just focus on moving forward and celebrating life."
“I also benefited from support from the Irish Cancer Society, and one of my favourite services was the ‘Look Good, Feel Good’ workshops where they teach you make-up tips, because when I was going through chemo my make-up wouldn’t stay on and you still want to look good, even if you don’t feel good."
If you or someone in your life is undergoing cancer treatment and are concerned about the coronavirus, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm