With many thanks to Karen for sharing her story.
“In 2018, I underwent a routine mammogram, which revealed a shadow. Given it was located under the breast muscle, making a standard biopsy challenging, I was given two options by the consultant: leave it for a year and then do another mammogram, or have an invasive operation to remove the cancer, which would leave a hole.
After the third week of treatment, the fatigue really hit me. It’s not like a normal tiredness. Your brain becomes slow and tired, and your body doesn’t want to do anything. You can lie and watch television, but the feeling doesn’t go away. Cancer fatigue is like being stuck in a fog no matter how much you sleep or rest, you can’t get out of it.
It was difficult to adjust to it, as I’ve always been such an active person I used to be a tennis referee and was a keen horse rider. I still struggle with the fact I can’t do what I used to do.
Most people seem to think that after your radiotherapy has finished, you should just get on with your life, but it’s not the case. I’m very much still in it. Today, I’m taking Tamoxifen, adjusting my sleeping and eating patterns and generally trying to adapt to my new normal.
Ever since I downloaded Untire, it’s been my bible. Whenever I’ve needed it, it’s been there. I use the app first thing every morning, which gives me something to work with every day.
The hardest part of cancer is trying to accept it as your new reality. But you have to try, you only have one life.”