“I first got diagnosed in 2016, on my mum’s birthday. I had a screening and they saw a shadow on my breast. I went back for my check-up and they said it’s an anomaly, I said I have this swelling under my arm that the Doctor’s been treating me for mastitis. He took a biopsy and I went to Matford (hospital) on the 22 December and got told that I have got breast cancer.”
“I had chemo in 2017, followed by a mastectomy and intensive radiotherapy – and then I got the all clear in August 2018. Then in September 2018, my son got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma while he was on holiday in Germany, and I flew out there, with not much hair, because I’d only had chemo in June.“ Thankfully Charlotte’s son is now in remission.
Charlotte explains how her dog, Maisie, has been her support throughout this journey, “Maisie-moo has been my saviour. She was the one that knew I had fresh cancer because she kept sniffing my neck, which made me feel it.”
“There’s no cure because it’s come back in my neck and it’s wrapped around my jugular and major nerve bundle, so an operation was out of the question. We tried chemo and I had injections every three weeks in my bottom… I did not have a Kim Kardashian bum at the end of it… I had a sore bum!”
“Then, they told me that it hadn’t actually worked.”
“Instead of thinking ‘Stage Four terminal cancer – oh my god; I’m thinking Stage Four terminal – right, I need to tell everyone I love them.”
“I always keep in touch with my friends and tell them that I love them. I go for lunch and give them a hug and say thank you. It’s important to tell everybody that you love them and how much they mean to you, because I feel I’ve been blessed, and I’ve got the opportunity – so many people don’t get that opportunity.”
At this point, Charlotte came into contact with Hospiscare, “I met the main nurse and she chatted to me about what they do and how it could help me. The feeling I got from meeting the staff and seeing the place was that it just seemed so calm. I went into the lounge area and it was lovely – I thought, I could come in here.”
“I’m surrounded by Hospiscare, so I feel like I’m in a safe place. I’ve phoned them for help with pain control as after chemo, I was in a lot of pain. Having talked to the support team, they advised me to increase my painkiller and I realised that they’re there to help.”
“After the chemo I could feel my hair was coming out and my head was so sore, so I braved the shave to raise money for Hospiscare, as I try and make a positive out of a negative.”
“I had some friends around and we had a great evening. My neighbour, who is a hospice nurse, came and sat with me and held my hand while my son was shaving it off. I’d always worried about my hair so everybody was surprised that I coped. At the end of the day, I am still me whether I’ve got hair or not!”
“These charities deserve every penny that we can raise for them because they’re all angels as far as I’m concerned. They do such a wonderful job, you cannot find a better charity that’s going to help people out, especially when you’re really poorly and you need that care and attention, the hospice is always going to be there for you.”
If you would like to donate to Charlotte’s fundraising, please click here.