I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43. After a lumpectomy I had chemotherapy and radio therapy which had some awful side-effects - menopausal symptoms, blurred vision, sickness and aches and pains. I was completely exhausted but I managed to get through it and slowly began to get back to normal life and back to work.

After your medical treatment has finished you are left to get on with things and you don’t really realise the longer-term effects that it can all have. It’s a strange time. I didn’t have breast cancer any more but I’d been through this huge thing and didn’t feel the same as I used to be before it.

The following year I heard about a support day that Breast Cancer Haven was running in Kidderminster near where I live and I went along. There was a breast cancer nurse, professional counsellor and a therapist who were really helpful and it was good to talk to them and the other women there who had all been through the same thing.  Everyone just understood what I’d been through and what I was feeling.

The support day was helpful but sadly Breast Cancer Haven’s centre in Hereford was just too far for me to travel to regularly so I was really pleased when they announced that they are opening a new support centre in Solihull this year. It’s great that women from the West Midlands and their families will be able to get the support that they need.

Even now, four years down the line I get exhausted, my memory is terrible and I don’t think I’ll ever regain my former stamina. Despite that, I feel very lucky. I met my partner two months before I was diagnosed and we got married this year. He saved my life and I feel very thankful not only for him but that I’m still here. Along the way, I have met others who have not been so lucky.

- Jane 

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