Glenda Osborne’s Story
Hi, my name is Glenda, Mum to Kerrin and Stacey and wife of 36 years to Glenn.
The beginning of last year was going to be a good year. Our daughter was getting married in February and things looked great. I had joined a gym for the first time to get my fitness level up but noticed that on the odd occasion I had an itchy breast. This would come and go, so I presumed that it was just good old chaffing. After the wedding I thought I had better go and get it checked. I had always had a problem with cysts so thought this was probably just another one.
On the 16 March 2011 I was referred to St Marks where they did a mammogram, ultrasound and then a biopsy. They made an appointment for me on Friday the 18th so I would have the results before the weekend. I rocked up on the Friday by myself, everything was going to be OK. He was going to tell me that it was only another cyst that they would have to drain, only to be told the devastating news that I had breast cancer and would have to have a masectomy. My world had just come tumbling down around me. This wasn’t happening. I was going to live until I was 90. Longevity was in the family, I was fit and healthy and never got sick.
By the following week I had never had so many tests. I was sent for an MRI, blood tests, a radioactive tracer injected into my breast for the Sentinel Node Biopsy. Less than two weeks later on the 29th March, I was admitted for my Mastectomy and Reconstruction. I woke up and was told that everything was good. My nodes were clear of any Cancer, Fantastic I thought. That means no Chemotherapy. I was determined that onwards and upwards was the way to be. No sitting back feeling sorry for myself. I went back to St Marks for the final results on 4th April. It turned out that there was a very tiny 3mm deposit in the first node. I had Grade II ductal carcinoma that was multifocal (2 tumors measuring 14 and 9mm) I was also Oestrogen and Progesterone positive, but the blow came when he told me I was Her2 Positive as well. This meant chemotherapy. My biggest dread was coming true. I was going to loose all my hair. I had my first treatment on the 2 May, 11 days before my birthday. My hair stayed in for my birthday which I was grateful for. I had it shaved off a week later when it started falling out. I did not want big clumps coming out in my hand. I had 3 cycles of Herceptin and Taxotere and a further 3 of FEC each 3 weeks apart. Chemotherapy was not pleasant but was much better than I envisaged I have met some lovely ladies at Oncology 161 all going through the same thing, sharing their stories and giving tips on how to get through the symptoms of chemotherapy. I am also on Tamoxifen for the next 5 years. I stopped wearing my wig and hats just prior to Xmas and had my first hair cut in February. Oh what a blessing to have hair. I also came through my 1 year check up all OK.
There was no history of Breast Cancer in our family – now I worry about both my daughters. I hope they never have to go through this. I believe cancer is somehow harder on family and friends than the person concerned, as it is easier to get on with whatever you have to do to survive than to stand by and watch someone you love suffer. It has also brought our family closer and gives you a different outlook on life.
The little things that mattered before, don’t anymore. There are more important things to focus on. Whilst it was the worst year of my life, its funny as it has also been the best with the wedding at the beginning of the year, and then being told late last year that we were going to be grandparents for the first time. The other great thing that has come out of something so devastating was Kerrin’s journey into making amazing headwear. Kaus Ltd was her vision to help people like myself, going through their darkest days, feel better by wearing something that made them feel good and fashionable.
Love those around you like there is no tomorrow.