I’m Elaine, Mum of three, from Dublin but now a long term Reading resident. My Lobular experience began in March 2020, as the county came to a standstill with the Covid-19 pandemic. At 38, weeks away from marrying my partner of 17 years, the pandemic put a stop to my plans and thankfully I decided to finally go and get the strange area of dimpling in my right breast checked out.
I wasn’t overly concerned as I naively thought I’m young and fit, working out 5-6 times a week, and there was no lump. I assumed this area that looked a bit different was simply a combination of weight loss and some left over scar tissue from mastitis after my twins. I was soon given a very rapid education. Thanks to the quick thinking of my incredible G.P I was fast tracked to the breast care team at my local hospital, underwent a physical exam, 6 biopsies from my breast, 3 from under my arm, a mammogram and ultrasound. They clearly weren’t messing around and perhaps due to the pandemic I was lucky enough to receive a prompt staging CT and MRI. Within another week I was diagnosed with a 9cm, stage 3, grade 2, Invasive Lobular Cancer with node involvement.
Having received the diagnosis alone, treatment began in April 2020. My family dropped me off at the hospital carpark for my single mastectomy and node clearance. In May I started 6 weeks of FEC-T chemotherapy, followed by 15 rounds of radiotherapy and upon completion, hormone therapy of Exemestane and Zoladex began and so did menopause. I was also put on 6 monthly bisphosphonate infusions for the following three years. In 2021 I underwent phase 1 DIEP reconstruction, Jan 2022 I had a bilateral salpingo oophorectomy and March 2022 marked phase 2 of DIEP reconstruction. I’ve also been a patient at 2 separate trusts moving teams post active treatment.
Lobular was never fully explained to me at diagnosis and I exhausted every option I knew yet still I couldn’t find safe reliable information about it in the U.K. This prompted me to set up Linking Lobular Ladies, a facebook support group that I needed as much for myself as for the other wonderful ladies who have since joined me there. Thankfully, it also led me to the amazing ladies at at Lobular Breast Cancer U.K and has given me a wonderful opportunity. I’m incredibly proud to be a trustee of LBCUK and stand amongst my new friends raising awareness and making positive changes for the future of all those with a Lobular Breast Cancer Diagnosis.