How Cancer Said 'Hello' To Our Family
A lot of the content I've written over the past year or so has come direct from the heart and I've shared to help people understand our journey. But, at the start this piece from my Mum (Debbie) did a great job of letting people know how cancer came into our lives and why we were in the position that we found ourselves in.
I thought I’d share an update that my Mum posted to Facebook to help people get to grips with how this all started in 2017 (the picture above was from a Holiday we took just before we received Lauren's diagnosis)...
‘At 28 years old with a 8 week old baby Lauren felt a lump in her breast. Her GP sent her to hospital to have the lump investigated, she was seen by doctors and a biopsy of the lump was taken after an agonising 2 week wait Lauren returned to hospital for the results - she was given the all clear. She was told it wasn't Cancer, they were overjoyed, but they were never told what the lump was, just that they should return in 3 months to make sure everything had settled down.
Lauren wasn't given an ultrasound or a mammogram as she didn't fit the "criteria" she was too young for cancer and had no relevant family history to raise any alarm bells.
They returned to hospital 3 months later and saw a different Dr. This Dr wasn't happy that she had not been given a formal diagnosis and felt compelled to do further tests, which were done that day, however this Dr also said she wasn't overly concerned and Lauren and Sam came out of the appointment reassured that it was not something they should worry about.
I can remember the day they attended the hospital for the results, I was looking after Molly whilst they went to the hospital, they were carefree and full of laughter and fun.
I also remember the devastation when Samuel phoned me from the hospital to tell me Lauren has cancer!
Breast cancer in young women is generally very aggressive as is Lauren's, the tumour had been feeding off of the oestrogen that Lauren was producing having not long had a baby, and had been growing for 3 months as they had failed to diagnose her from the first biopsy.
At 28 Sam and Lauren's world came crashing down around them but they sucked it up and Lauren did everything asked of her to beat the disease, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and long term medication.
Sadly the disease returned 18 months later and Lauren's diagnosis is now incurable.
As young people the need for critical illness cover never entered their young minds (especially as before being made redundant Lauren had Life Assurance through her job, from which she was later made redundant).
Consequently they find themselves in a position where the plans they have made for a lifetime together now have to be achieved in a much shorter time.
They have not been given any idea of how long Lauren has but are aware it is a life limiting prognosis.
The generosity showed by people has been amazing and we are eternally grateful as a family, the money donated will be used to help them make memories that they would not have had the opportunity to make, it will also go to making life more comfortable for Lauren as her health deteriorates and gives Samuel the opportunity to take unpaid leave from work to care for Lauren and Molly should he ever need to.
I just wanted to give you all a greater insight into how your donations are helping.
Please keep sharing.’
Finding out what we're made of...
It's not until you're faced with adversity that you truly find out what you're made of. It's not how we respond to the good days that defines who we are but how we react when the going get's tough. This was the start of a 3 year journey where the woman I thought I knew better than anyone in the world continued to amaze me and show me that super heroes are real. When cancer took a hold of our family, Lauren took it head on and showed that she was no push over. Battling through surgery to remove and diagnose the cancer, an intense 6 month course of chemotherapy and all that came with that, a course of radiotherapy and not to mention all of the psychological challenges that come with taking on cancer. She really was an incredible human being and is still my inspiration today.
Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey!