JANINE Taylor was four months pregnant when she found a lump in her right breast.
Three weeks after giving birth to a baby boy, her worst fears were realised when she was diagnosed with cancer.
After spending the ‘worst Christmas’ 2014 telling family and friends, Janine’s treatment began, and five months of chemotherapy was followed by a mastectomy of her right breast and then radiotherapy.
Now in recovery and a parent to a happy and healthy 14-month old Mason, Janine has started a blog about her experience and is on a fundraising mission for Cancer Research.
“Not long after I first found the lump I was in agony. I had to go to the doctors eight times before I was believed,” said Janine, 34, who grew up in Southbourne and now lives on Hayling Island.
“On the eighth time I went absolutely mental and refused to leave until they finally referred me to hospital. The doctor said it could be mastitis but I knew I wasn’t right.”
Janine was only two weeks from her due date when the third biopsy at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth came back inconclusive, though she was told by a consultant it was likely she had cancer.
“He didn’t have to tell me, I knew and I’d always known since the lump appeared,” Janine wrote in her blog.
She said the ‘hardest part’ was telling her teenage step-daughter.
A week later she was induced so treatment could begin, and three weeks after the birth she cried as she had to hand over her baby for the first time to undergo surgery.
Doctors found a 12cm tumour and her cancer was at an advanced Stage Three, making treatment urgent.
After five months of ‘barbaric’ chemotherapy the tumour, along with her right breast was removed.
Janine said: “I lost most of my hair during the last stage of chemo but it’s now grown back to around three inches.
“It might sound strange but I cared more about losing my hair than I did about losing my breast.”
Janine’s cancer is now deemed ‘non-active’ and her main treatment has finished, though she will continue to have injections every three weeks until May.
She says her husband Steve and sister Danielle have been her ‘rock’, along with friends and family who have kept her smiling throughout her year-long ordeal.
Last year they surprised her by running the Race for Life sporting ‘racing for Janine’ t-shirts - an event she is planning to take part in this year.
Now feeling much better, she is putting her energy into organising a charity ball on Hayling Island at the end of the year.
She is planning to auction off signed celebrity bras and boxers (unworn), and on Tuesday she received her first item - a signed pair of boxer shorts from TV chatshow host Jeremy Kyle.
To read Janine’s blogs, and see how businesses and individuals can help her raise money, visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pantsandbrastocancer
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.chichester.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChichesterObserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @Chiobserver
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Chichester Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.