In January 2022, Jo woke up one evening with severe pain in her left breast. After several appointments, she was referred to the Mermaid Centre in Cornwall for a mammogram and further investigation.
At the time she was working as an offshore crewing co-ordinator in Cornwall, loving her job and colleagues.
“I was working under pressure and thriving in a role that was reactive and challenging. We were about to move to Scotland with our two cats and dog – life was good.”
Life changed dramatically when Jo received a diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer on Thursday 9 June 2022
“I was 43 with no family history of breast cancer. I knew people who had gone through cancer and I had seen the TV ads. But nothing can prepare you for those words: ‘you have cancer’. I just wasn’t ready for that conversation.
“Following the diagnosis my whole life changed, the brakes had to go on, including my house move, to enable me to cope and recover from my treatment.
“I remember my first oncology appointment, when my cancer nurse advised me that my whole life was about to change. She said that I would eat, drink and sleep cancer. She wasn’t wrong.
“The appointments started rolling in, a chemo plan was made. I became submersed in an alien world, surrounded by urgency and sympathetic looks. All of this while still trying to digest the news.
“A friend made me aware of organisations who supported cancer patients with care packages. After some investigation I found Cancer Support UK and requested a Chemo Kit.
“When the kit arrived I discovered it included lots of really handy things that help you through the journey of chemo. I have used nearly all of the items and the Sherbet Lemon sweets have been a wonderful help with nausea and dizziness.
“Most importantly, the kit provided me with the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. It told me that people were there for me during this awful time and gave me joy and excitement.
“I am now well into the swing of my chemo treatment with surgery due in January 2023. Work is steady and I am adjusting.
“For those just beginning your journey, I would say that there is a lot of support out there and we are not alone, we just need to ask for help. Stay safe and strong.”
Jo is just one of many people who’ve received kits made possible by your generosity. Sadly, there are still thousands of patients undergoing treatment in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK. For them, the arrival of a Cancer Kit or Chemo Kit can provide a much needed boost at a difficult time. If you can donate today, we can help even more people. Thank you.