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Ruth counts herself as one of the lucky ones, as she reflects on her own personal journey after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, she says that whilst it was an awful experience, she saw people who were in a much more serious situation than her and for that she is eternally thankful.

The Diagnosis:

Ruth discovered she had breast cancer in September 2019 after a routine mammogram. The initial diagnosis was DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) which can remain dormant but she was advised to have tissue around the area of concern removed – on 30th September, she had the operation. The pathology found that there were active cancer cells in the area removed. For Ruth that came as a shock.  Two weeks after that she had lymph nodes removed and thankfully it hadn’t spread.


Following that Ruth had 15 rounds of radiotherapy.  Her treatment finished on 11th December – three months after diagnosis.

Ruth says of this “It all happened so quickly, from diagnosis to treatment, it didn’t give me too much time to dwell on it.  I was brought up believing never to make a fuss; I guess I carried this sentiment throughout my treatment. Even though I was semi-prepared with what to expect, I remember one day it just hit me like a tonne of bricks.  I had been kind of blasé about it up until that point. My mind was in turmoil.  My mum died of breast cancer and at the time, many years ago, the treatment was horrific.  She really suffered terribly.  Thankfully, my experience was not like that.”

“The care I received was amazing; I really can’t praise them enough. The breast cancer care team at the hospital were outstanding. I also used all of the services Ayrshire Cancer Support offered – the transport took the stress out of the journeys to and from the hospital; I received counselling from Anna, who is just the best.  I also got some relaxation therapy from Nancy which really helped me.”

Ruth’s Recovery:

Ruth goes onto explain what she found most shocking was the amount of people over 70 going through breast cancer treatment at the same time as her “On my ward there were seven other women, all in their 70’s and 80’s.  You tend to think breast cancer only affects younger women, I was surprised.”

Ruth’s consultants are happy with her progress and satisfied with her mammogram a year later. Ruth says she couldn’t have got through it without the support of her partner, the breast cancer care team and Ayrshire Cancer Support.  She feels very lucky.  Ruth has just completed our Hope and Memories walk and has currently raised over £1100, to help other people like herself.

How you can help:

To find out more about how you can help others like Ruth, please click the link to donate to Ayrshire Cancer Support today.