Sue Ollerhead

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In October 2019, I found a lump whilst putting on my seatbelt. After visiting my GP, I was referred to the Clatterbridge Breast Clinic, where I was examined, had a mammogram followed by an ultrasound. When the Doctor told me that it was a solid mass, I was told that they suspected it was cancer. Just a week later, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to have a lumpectomy and a sentinel lymph node removal. After a cancellation in November, I was called in for surgery but because they couldn’t get clear margins from the labs I had to then have a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in December.

After a number of further tests, I was referred to an Oncologist who recommended 18 weeks of Chemotherapy and 15 rounds of Radiotherapy. This was the beginning of my recovery, and throughout the Chemotherapy I was fortunate enough to use scalp cooling so that I could keep the majority of my hair. After my third round, my Oncologist recommended that my Chemotherapy be cut by two rounds to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

The physical and mental effects of cancer are gruelling. I work as a lecturer and I am a single parent so I am usually very active and always on the go. Fatigue probably had the biggest impact on family life, but despite the Pandemic I was determined to stay positive and continue being active every day. Since completing my treatment I have attending a Moving Forward and Mindfulness course from Clatterbridge and Maggie’s, and I’ve now signed up to take part in the Liverpool Cathedral Abseil in July 2021 to support The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

From the very beginning, Clatterbridge made me feel so welcome and supported. Everyone understands what you’re going through, and are there every step of the way. When you mention where you’re being treated it has such a great reputation, you feel reassured and it soon becomes like a second home. The staff work tirelessly, and even throughout a worldwide Pandemic they continue to offer compassion to all of their patients and families.

This year, I will be supporting the Charity’s Fairy Appeal and will be dedicating a Fairy to say thank you to everyone who helped me throughout my treatment. Your donation can help cancer patients throughout Merseyside and Cheshire and whilst Covid-19 has had a huge impact on cancer services, Clatterbridge has continue to deliver over 1,500 chemotherapy treatment to patients and have increased their Treatment at Home service by 25%. There’s never been a more important time to support your local cancer charity, and your support can help make a huge difference to the lives of so many.