Helena Angstmann

I know I'm very fortunate as I haven't experienced much loss. Both my Grandfathers died when I was younger - but I remember them fondly. My Grandmothers died more recently and lived good lives. I feel very blessed and never take for granted my wonderful family.
My Father in law became ill and died of cancer on 30th December 2017. It was very unexpected and hit the family hard.
On Easter Sunday 2018 I excitedly got ready for our family gathering. I had lost 4.5 stone and was very proud of myself. I looked thinner, but more importantly was fitter (going to the gym at least 3 times a week) and felt more confident. As I dressed myself I smiled in the mirror at the new push-up bra. I patted my boobs! That was when I felt a lump.
A few days later I went to see my GP who booked an appointment at the Breast Clinic. Over the following weeks I attended appointments and awaited test results in secret as I didn't want my family or friends to worry.

On 18th April 2018 my Mother in law passed away very unexpectedly. It was a real shock to us all.

In the weeks following I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Informing my family was difficult because I didn't really know what the future held and didn't really have answers to their many questions. However, with faith and a positive mind-set we marched on! At this time I contacted Breast Cancer Haven, Leeds, where Debra spent time with me and suggested various support opportunities that I could make use of via The Haven, Leeds. This was very reassuring.

On 1st June 2018 I had a mastectomy with reconstruction. My plastic surgeon was fantastic! It was 'a first' for the LGI / St. James' hospital, as she took muscles from my thighs to reconstruct. I had many medical visitors whilst in hospital and on my check-up visits. Surgery wasn't the end for me as I then had a two month wait to determine next treatment pathways.

My two daughters, husband, parents, three brothers, brothers and sisters-in-law, friends and colleagues supported me throughout my treatments and recovery. I have thankfully had a successful return to work and therefore I feel compelled to support.

Anyone who knows me, knows that a catwalk isn't somewhere I'd choose to go - so please support me by donating to enable Breast Cancer Haven to provide emotional, physical and practical support to anyone affected by breast cancer.

Helena Angstmann