Day 23 #LivingWithLobular

This year Lobular Ireland agreed to post ‘Our Stories – #LivingWithLobular’ One Story each day throughout October to raise awareness of our Subtype of Breast Cancer

While Ductal Carcinoma accounts for approx 80% of all Breast Cancers and is the most common NST (No Special Type) Lobular Breast Cancer is the most common special histological type of Breast Cancer and accounts for approx 15% of all BC Diagnoses. Every year in Ireland around 400 women are Diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer also known as Invasive Lobular Carcinoma or ILC

Khadija is a member of our Lobular Ireland Group and tells us her story to raise awareness of #LivingWithLobular

My name is Khadija Ring. I am married to Barry and have 3 children, Luke, Emma and Sophie. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was tell them ‘’I have cancer’’.

I was diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer in September 2019, I was 43. I have always had lumpy breasts and for this reason I checked myself regularly, I never really visually checked my breasts and only after I was diagnosed, I saw the dimpling around my nipple where the cancer was puckering the skin. My only symptoms were extreme fatigue and a stabbing pain in my left breast.

I had 2 tumours. My Diagnosis was stage 2 grade 2. Mastectomy was my only option, followed by Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. I never knew there were different types of breast cancer until then.

“advocate for yourself”. If you’re not happy with something just say it!”

I was not a suitable candidate for an implant and didn’t want that option. I wanted to use my own tissue, so my consultant recommended a reconstruction from my latissimus dorsi (back) muscle.
I was not happy to have my back muscle interfered with and asked for a Diep reconstruction, where tissue is taken from the abdomen. I was then referred to Jamie Martin Smith in Beaumont and had a consultation with him.
I was never so happy coming out of an appointment. Jamie just ‘got it’ I felt so comfortable during the consult, and he explained everything in detail to me. My mind was made up the next day!
I had my mastectomy and reconstruction followed by 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 4 weeks of Radiotherapy.

It was the toughest time of my life, but I have a wonderful family and support network around me, and that saw me through the toughest days.

Khadija and her beautiful family

If I have one piece of advice for any person affected by cancer, it’s to “advocate for yourself”. If you’re not happy with something just say it! I ‘pushed’ for a yearly follow up with MRI which thankfully was granted.

I have made so many friends through this forum (thank you to Siobhan and Lobular Ireland!) it’s great to connect with others who are in the same boat and share our experiences.
Warm wishes,
Khadija x

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