Emma, Mum of two was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She was scheduled for preventative surgery but was told the day before the operation they had found two lumps and then the cancer spread. Now 4 years on, she’s here to tell us her story.
“Sometimes when people come to the end of line of treatment, that’s when they’re a bit like what do I do, where I go. The first time I was diagnosed I was a bit like I’m alright and can just get on and carry on with life but then the second time I was diagnosed I was like no I can’t carry on just like I’ve done, I do need to look after myself a bit more and put myself first. You do plod on and you think ‘oh I’m alright’
Emma has been meeting Yvonne a volunteer with our bereavement and family support service since January.
Emma: “It does benefit me a lot but as you say, I come to see Yvonne because she’s just like amazing. [Speaking to Yvonne] You’ve just gone above and beyond haven’t you for me.”
Yvonne: “We get on really well.”Emma: “You do go out of your way to do stuff for me though.”
Yvonne: “but Emma’s a hairdresser and I get hairdressing tips so it works both ways. We support one another.”
Yvonne and Emma first met at the hospice in Ulverston.
“I’d finished my second lot of treatment but then I was waiting again to see what was going on and then when I was diagnosed again that’s when you [Yvonne] came to the rescue.
It saves me a lot of my time and energy like I wasn’t getting any money so you did all that didn’t you for me, you got citizens advice. I’d just come to a point where I was like I’m not doing it, everyone’s telling me no and I’d ring up and spend hours on the phone and they’d be like no, no, no and then you just took over that. So that’s been a massive, massive help to us. Even when I got married you helped with that.”
After 21 years together Emma and her partner Chris got married in April using the charity ‘gift of a wedding’. They organise everything for your wedding if you have a terminal illness. Emma working with Yvonne filled in the paperwork ready for the big day at Abbey house.
“They just did everything. Everything you have for your day everybody donates, vehicles, flowers, suit hire for Chris. The day was absolutely amazing. We went past the [wedding venue] the other day and I was going out on Saturday and I went past and my daughter went ‘oh that’s where you got married wasn’t it mummy’. She’s like ‘oh lovely memories’ she’s funny.”
Yvonne: “We’ve worked really well together to try and move things forward so we can manage what’s happening, because that’s what it’s about really a way forward. Making it easier.”
Emma: “Well it’s just putting more things in place. The future for the children and things like that and Chris being able to know, in the future the things that are there for him. Some people don’t get that privilege of getting to organise that stuff. It is nice to be able to think I can do stuff and I’ve got the memory boxes as well. I’ve started doing stuff for them [her family]. I’ve been making some stuff, I taught myself to crochet. I’ve made some blankets for the kids, one each.
I think when you’re first diagnosed you’re not aware of facilities available to you because you’re just going through all the medical side of things and then at the end when you’ve gone through the medical then you’re about like oh I then need to think about myself a little bit. I say aslong as I can get up each day and get my hair and makeup done and get out then I’m alright.”