• Ruth Branagh for ELAN Stories

Ruth's Story

I’m Ruth and I was diagnosed with E+ breast cancer in July 2016 when I was 46. I had discovered a lump

in my right breast in March but it seemed to come and go and sometimes it felt big sometimes small so I

really didn’t think it was anything to be worried about. I eventually called the GP in early July and she

referred me to the breast clinic. The surgeon took a good look and thought there was nothing to worry

about and didn’t think it was cancerous. He said they’d need to do a needle biopsy and would let me

know the results in two weeks. I wasn’t particularly worried as I didn’t think it was going to be cancer.

When I went back in for my results I was not ready for the diagnosis. A new surgeon delivered the

devastating news in a very matter of fact way and I felt my world go in to slow motion. I was struggling

to take in what she was telling me and suddenly felt the tears coming. My daughter was there for

support and I was so relieved as she could take in better what I was being told.

My head was just spinning out of control; thinking the worst.
My birthday 2016 with my children, Jemima and Joe. Just a few weeks before my chemo started.

There then followed months of uncertainty with treatment but I opted to have surgery first as I was

concerned that I wouldn’t be as strong and able to deal with surgery if I had chemo first. I’m so glad I

made that decision as chemo was horrendous and in the end I only managed 4 cycles instead of the

recommended 6. I struggled with mental health through chemo and felt extremely low. I began to lose

feeling in my fingers and toes and the Oncologist agreed to stop the treatment as it could be nerve

damage. Thankfully the feeling has returned.

My first chemo session January 2017