Karen’s story

Karen’s story

Karen’s story 1200 630 Untire

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.

I knew I would want the operation, for my own peace of mind. Breast cancer runs in my family – five members between the ages of 32 and 64 years of age have had it.

The cancer diagnosis didn’t even really dawn on me until I started radiotherapy. Once I had my first session, the intensity of the procedure and how it impacted me emotionally made me realise how serious it was.

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.”