SPEAKING candidly about a cancer ordeal can be a tough hurdle to overcome.
But an Alfreton mother-of-two has shared her story with the News this week in her bid to encourage people to take part in the national ‘wear it pink’ day next Friday, October 28.
Vicky Egan, was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 16, 2006.
She remembers the day vividly.
“I cried straight away,” said the mother of two, who was 53 and working for an IT company in Barlborough, Chesterfield, when she received the news. “It’s a hard thing to take in.”
Within days Vicky underwent a mastectomy operation to remove the breast, marking the beginning of a life-saving course of treatment still ongoing today.
The mastectomy was followed by six weeks of chemotherapy and a five-week course of radiotherapy.
But, although the treatment took its toll physically, Vicky says her time spent in and out of the chemotherapy unit at Derby City General Hospital, now the Royal Derby Hospital, allowed her to meet with several other people going through the same ordeal. It was the support of those around her that allowed her to stay positive.
She said: “I remember saying it’s not going to beat me. Because you know that you are going to come out of it the other end, you just have to accept it.”
Five years on and Vicky, who loves cooking and gardening, is still on a course of medication. But the message from her is clear – regular checking can be a life-saver.
“If it looks different, any swelling, anything that is isn’t normal, get to the doctors,” she said.
Vicky’s long-term partner, Darryl Scott, 50, is in no doubt how important it is to donate to Breast Cancer Campaign this month.
“I think it is invaluable,” he said. “Going through the journey with Vicky you realise the amount of money that’s needed for research and for treatment. Everyone we met in the unit at Derby City hospital was marvellous, I can’t speak highly enough of them.”