Jo's Breast Cancer journey13 January 22
Jo Kerfoot took part in Maggies on the Runway 2021 with Heather. She looked gorgeous strutting her stuff on the catwalk, and felt beautiful wearing her Skarlette set. You can see her pictured in the middle below. Read her breast cancer story here 👇🏻
"My breast cancer journey began in October 2020 when I decided to get checked by my GP after noticing symptoms on my left breast.
I'd watched Lorraine Kelly and Helen a few weeks before and on Helen's Instagram page, @thetittygritty they were promoting the Change and Check campaign, it prompted me because it's not just a lump I was looking for, and I was ticking a few of the other signs too, unfortunately.
I checked Lorraine's website and found the campaign in detail, as well as guidance from Dr Hilary, as to how to check and what to look for.
My symptoms were unusual pain, nipple discharge (which I'd had for a couple of years) a skin rash - which grew in size over the months prior to realising it was a sign, lumps all over my breast. I'd had 2 previous screenings (2018, 2019) where I was sent away with the "all clear", just cysts I was told.
During the summer of 2020 I was feeling increasingly tired, had a few light headed wobbly moments and continued pain and very irregular periods. Doctors put me on Iron tablets and this didn't help my tiredness. Then I continued to monitor my breast and finally October came and it was coincidentally Breast Cancer Awareness month (ironic) - I went to get checked at the end of October and was diagnosed on the 11th November with invasive breast cancer.
As we were in a pandemic I had to do it alone. I thought it would be like the previous times where it was nothing (even though I had a biopsy at that screening) so at the following appt for the results, I went alone, and there I was informed of my fate. A lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy was recommended.
A further MRI scan showed up a 2nd tumour; due to having dense breast tissue, tumours are not easy to detect on mammograms, so I'm grateful this was found.
The results were discussed a week later and I was then faced with a Mastectomy of my left breast. Multi-focal invasive Breast cancer stage 2 with a micro met in one node. We'd caught it in time!
My breast cancer is hormone positive, so following surgery and reconstruction I was put on Hormone Therapy.
If it wasn't for the Change and Check campaign I would not be aware of other symptoms relating to Breast Cancer and maybe I would telling a different story...
I am now so much more informed and I now use my knowledge and passion to raise awareness through my Insta and Facebook pages."
Thank you Jo, it's so important too get the message across to become familiar with our breast / chests and check at least monthly for any changes. @jos_breastcancer_diary