Diagnosed in a Pandemic: Amy's Inspiring Breast Cancer Journey
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to share stories that inspire hope. Today, we'll delve into Amy Isidoro’s journey through breast cancer, from her diagnosis, to her treatment - to how she is now. Her story not only highlights the importance of early detection but also showcases the power of community support and fundraising efforts for Cancer Research Wales.
Diagnosis in the Midst of a Pandemic
It was in the COVID pandemic and with a six-month-old baby that Amy’s breast cancer journey began. Amy experienced chest pains and decided to consult her GP, her intuition told her something was amiss. The GP discovered a lump and advised her to return in two weeks for further evaluation.
"During COVID, I went to my appointment alone, surrounded by masked faces and social distancing. My husband waited in the car. I felt confident, thinking that they wouldn't let me come alone if something was wrong. But as I walked to the doctor's room, a nurse asked - is there anyone with you today?"
It was from this moment that Amy’s life changed forever.
Journey Through Treatment
Amy's journey through breast cancer – all during the COVID pandemic - included a series of treatments, each demanding immense courage and resilience.
Amy continues: "I met with the surgeon, and he advised me to have chemotherapy. There were still such strict COVID restriction in place at the time and so I had to go into my appointments alone. To this day, I am still so grateful to the fantastic staff that looked after me.”
During her chemotherapy, Amy was admitted to the hospital twice due to neutropenic sepsis, a complication caused by a compromised immune system.
Amy then underwent a mastectomy after completing chemotherapy, during which surgeons thankfully found clear lymph nodes. This meant she didn't require radiation therapy. To ensure that no residual cancer cells remained, Amy underwent six more rounds of chemotherapy.
"I'd gone back to work just before the end of my chemotherapy, and since then, I've had two years of clear scans. I'm now just waiting for my reconstruction surgery. So, it's all good following that."
The Power of Early Detection
Amy's advice to others is simple, but vital: "If you think something is not right, no matter how small it is, no matter how you try and explain it away, no matter what Google says, just go and get it checked out.”
In support of Cancer Research Wales, Amy has signed up for the London Marathon, a daunting challenge for someone who says they are not a runner! She has been actively involved in fundraising events, including a successful comedy night in her local community hall, which raised £700.
We hope you’ll see Amy's story as a beacon of hope, encouraging others to not be afraid of seeking medical attention when you feel something isn’t quite right. You can read more about the ThinkCancer! Trial here, which is working with GPs and offering whole practise training to improve early cancer detection.
Amy's resilience and dedication to raising awareness and funds for Cancer Research Wales are inspiring, and we're so grateful for her support following her own significant health challenges. If you would like to get involved in supporting Cancer Research Wales, please visit Cancer Research Wales Events or consider participating in the Cardiff Half Marathon 2024. Your contribution can make a meaningful difference in the ongoing fight against cancer.