Callie used our services in London and is sharing her experiences of breast cancer to launch our Christmas raffle.

"Breast Cancer Haven was my place of safety, a place I could go and really be myself. I didn’t have to pretend to anyone that I was OK, when I wasn’t.

When I first noticed the lump I was filled with blind panic. I didn’t need to wait for the diagnosis. I knew that what had taken my grandmother’s life, aged 49, had decided to pay me a visit. Waiting for the test results was the worst thing; I just wanted to know what exactly we were dealing with. Thankfully we had caught the aggressive triple negative tumour just in time and I started the treatment soon after.

I radically changed my diet the day after diagnosis and lost 1.5 stone before my chemotherapy began and I felt really energised. But chemotherapy was much tougher both physically and mentally than I ever imagined. And I cried hysterically the day I started losing my hair. Then after chemotherapy was over the reality of my diagnosis hit me hard and I turned into a bundle of anxiety. The whole treatment process was a rollercoaster. Each phase brought a whole new set of issues and symptoms to deal with.

Yet going through breast cancer has also given me a new found confidence. I’ve done so much that I would never have dared to do before I had cancer including studying for a psychology course, being published in journals and travelling all round the world. Best of all I got married to the love of my life this year.

I finished treatment more than six years ago now and throughout it all Breast Cancer Haven were there for me. Without them, my life - and that of my family’s - would be very different. I got such peace of mind from knowing that Breast Cancer Haven was there, supporting and offering advice, or just providing a nurturing place to heal and rest my weary bones. It made each step more bearable. I was thankful that my partner was able to access support too, so often carers are forgotten about but at Breast Cancer Haven he was included and supported. I so loved having the wholesome nourishing food in the Breast Cancer Haven kitchen as well, so nice on the weary days.

Breast Cancer Haven inspired me to be the very best Callie I could be and I’m so grateful for their support."

Callie hopes you’ll be inspired by her story to buy or sell tickets in our Christmas raffle and help others get the support she did.