I was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer in November 2020. In February 2021, I started five months of chemotherapy, going into hospital every 21 days for an IV infusion. It was intense chemo – I lost all my hair and experienced lots of side effects. By the summer of 2021, I had finished my main chemo. The tumour was still there, but it had halved in size. I am on hormone blockers and will be for 10 years in total. In essence I am in a medical menopause, so I have all the symptoms such as hot flushes, achy joints, fatigue, brain fog and trouble sleeping, which is difficult to deal with in your 20s.
I know people are supportive and that no one will look at me differently. Having spaces like the Brit ERGs that are raising disability awareness makes a big difference and sends a message that everyone is valued equally.
When I first started at Brit, I didn’t broadcast my illness and a lot of my colleagues didn’t know. However, I have since felt very comfortable talking about it and found that people are really understanding – talking can really help break down misconceptions.
Brit is very mature about disability, which helps people see that it doesn’t have any impact on the job you are doing.