Day 24 #LivingWithLobular

As we enter week 4 of October 2022 and #BreastCancerAwareness month, we’d like to thank everyone who is working so hard to bring attention to Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer.

Kirsty has been a member of Lobular Ireland since 2019 and is passionate about raising awareness of ILC, especially across Ireland. We’re incredibly lucky to have women like Kirsty who continue to speak up and are determined to make a difference for patients #LivingWithLobular

In Nov 2014 I was diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer. I had a mammogram 2 months previous which gave me the all clear.
I had a bad cough for 3-4 weeks that would not go away. Going for a bath one evening to steam I noticed that my left breast seemed blue compared to the right. On examination I felt a hardening on the breast near my armpit.
I contacted my GP who referred me for a triple assessment in the Mater Eccles st, Dublin.
This was the start of a journey that continued to change from week to week with new information arriving after tests and scans and decisions having to be made. What was thought to be a 2cm tumour turned out to be 7cm, shown in the MRI scan. I had a mastectomy dec 2014, Chemotherapy ACT Feb 2015 which was followed by Radiation treatment in the summer.

My surgery, treatment and care in the public health system was very good, with regular check-ups in Oncology while taking hormone therapy. I had an amazing support and information source in the network of patients and staff in the Garry Kelly centre in Drogheda, which helped me through some dark moments and showed me light at the end of the tunnel. In 2017 I had breast reconstruction surgery and was very surprised at how this affected my self-esteem and wellbeing, it was a very positive move for me and my journey forward.

After treatment I had yearly mammograms, however after a couple of years, I felt that this seemed inadequate as my cancer was missed in my mammogram before diagnosis only two moths previous. My tumour was not small.
Lobular breast cancer is often (occult) not seen on mammograms and often presents in the other breast. Having read the research and the ongoing debate about dense breasts masking some cancers, in particular Lobular, I fought to have a yearly ultra sound scan with my mammogram which I now receive.

It has been a journey with many changes physically, emotionally and psychologically. Thankfully changes are being made through research, patient experience and information from a wider world community where information is being transferred and used to make the experience a little less daunting. I survive to enjoy my two beautiful grandchildren, a loving family and supportive friends which makes life joyful.

Kirsty McGhie Oct 2022.

Kirsty McGhie Oct 2022.

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