Gilly Carpenter 57,

Carpe Diem - that's me!

"December 2004, aged 46 Noticed a painful 'pebble' type lump in left breast, GP sent me to Weston General breast clinic. Needle aspiration kept hitting blood, couldnt understand it so said that it was menapausal symptoms, given star flower oil and dismissed really. The lump grew, pain became really painful and now affecting my left arm. Went back and demanded breast removal so biopsy done on lump (which by now was quite big) still kept hitting blood. Letter from surgeon assuring me that it was not cancer but was undergoing tests. 5th Sept 2005 diagnosed with primary Angiosarcoma of left breast, grade 3. I had no tell tale bruising which made diagnosis difficult. 23rd Sept 2005 Mascetomy, followed by Inpatient Chemotherapy 4 rounds of Doxurubicine and Ifsomide was all that I could tolerate (hard core stuff!), followed by radiotherapy. My Professor had to fight for chemotherapy as no funding for sarcoma and chemo not usually offered. Transferred to Royal Marsden in 2007 sarcoma unit for 6 monthly then yearly check ups.All clear ever since. 24th Sept this year, 2015 I will have my final check up and will be 'cured'. I am one of the few very LUCKY ones, am grateful for every day, sad for the amount of comrades that I have lost since 2005.I think laughter and denial has been a very useful weapon at times! "

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