Facing breast cancer, head on

2017-10-24 06:00
Linda Auld fought breast cancer.PHOTO: supplied

Linda Auld fought breast cancer.PHOTO: supplied

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OCTOBER marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Hillcrest Fever will be celebrating survivors and educating the public about it.

One such survivor is 56-year-old Linda Auld, who believes that early detection is the key to beating it.

Auld, diligently went every two years for a mammogram, however, in March her mammogram revealed there was something suspicious and after they did a vacuum biopsy on her left breast, cancer was confirmed.

“This was undetectable with feel so it’s very important to go regularly for a mammogram as breast cancer can be there before you feel it,” she said.

Auld was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer and she had HER2+ breast cancer (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 breast cancer).

She said it was a shock as she did not have any family history of breast cancer, she always ate healthily and never had any hormone treatment.

“I was diagnosed a month before I got married so it was very difficult dealing with my big day and the emotions that go with knowing I had breast cancer.

“My family was so upset, but my husband, children, brother and sister have been extremely supportive. I have a fantastic network of friends so between them I’ve never felt so much love and support throughout my treatment,” she said.

Auld had surgery and a small tumour was removed in April. She then had six months of chemo – four of the “red devil” every 21 days and then 12 weekly chemo called Taxol.

“I’ve got four treatments left and then I will be doing radiation after that.”

She thanks everyone who stood by her and says if it were not for the support of family and friends she would have not gotten through the ordeal.

“No matter how much support you get, it’s you alone that must go through it all and I also felt that seeing a psychologist for a while helped.

“I went onto Pinterest and looked at funky pixie hairstyles and cut my hair short before it started to fall out – the trauma of dealing with your hair falling out is not half as bad,” she said.

She said that CANSA in Umbilo Road was also a tremendous help.

She said people need to “just slow your life down”.

“I worked throughout my treatment, and I just decided that during the week I’m going to be home in the evenings, have early nights and became ‘un-busy’ and find pleasure in simple things - walking on the beachfront, having a cappuccino before work, seeing some of my friends over the weekend for breakfast or coffee, have a weekend away with my husband.

“It stops you from becoming depressed and keeps you positive.

“I belong to a support group called Soul Sisters who have been very supportive and helped me through some of my darkest days.

“Most importantly is to make sure you have a medical aid and a gap cover,”

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