The Story

The Story Behind Chemo Chic – by Jessica Jones

In Spring 2008 my beloved cousin Gaby experienced some pains in her back. They steadily got worse. In July she collapsed and was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with metastisised cancer everywhere, including in her spine. ‘Unknown Primary Tumor’ they called it. Prognosis: grim.

On October 17th 2008, Gaby died.

She was 47 years old and had been married only a year previously. It all seemed so unfair. Gaby’s last months were marked by a huge amount of love but also too much pain and confusion.

A few months later I became aware of a slightly hard and tender area on my left breast. I wouldn’t call it a lump. I wasn’t worried. I’d read somewhere years ago that cancer doesn’t hurt.

By chance, I had an appointment with my GP on another matter. I mentioned the tenderness. “Better get it checked out” she said and wrote a referral letter to the Breast Care Unit at St Mary’s Hospital.

You’ve probably guessed how that went… On the 26th of May 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As often as I remember to, I thank my higher power for giving me such a prescient GP. Left to my own devices I would not have bothered to take time from my busy life to schlep to the hospital on what seemed to me a wild goose chase.

If you are reading this, I urge you to acquaint yourself with the warning signs of various forms of cancer. If you are even vaguely concerned about ANYTHING, please ask your GP for a referral to go and get it checked out. Don’t worry if it seems loopy and hypochondriacal. Don’t worry if it irritates your GP. It is your right.

Anyone affected by cancer is encouraged to submit a story to the Chemo Chic Project. Sharing our experience will help to demistify some of the horribly frightening and confusing moments that another person will be experiencing if they or someone they love is going through cancer. It is not the intention of this website to give medical advice or opinions. There are many excellent and informative websites, as well as numerous crazy ones, dedicated to saving your life. This site is about saving your sanity.

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