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Cancer journey happy ending

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By Abbey Morton
Cancer journey happy ending

ONE day Jayne Murdoch got up, switched on the shower . . . and her life changed forever.



Aged 41, she found a lump in her breast.

And although it was nine months before she had a diagnosis, that day in February 2010 was the start of a painful, emotional and life-altering journey.

Cancer was the last thing on Jayne’s mind. She had moved from Dumfries to London to work as a bid manager for a construction company; was living with partner Richard; was fit, healthy, ate well and went to the gym.

Her mum had died from breast cancer five years previously, but, like many women, Jayne considered it an ‘old woman’s disease’ and not something for her to worry about.

She said: “I was in the shower one day and I felt something under the bottom of my left breast. It felt like a hardness, much bigger than a spot, and it was tender.

“I thought I should get it checked, but I still never thought about my mum.”

Looking back now, Jayne says she had ‘classic symptoms’ with a lump and puckering caused by the tumour pulling the skin inward.

After her diagnosis, a raft of tests quickly followed and then she started chemotherapy.

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Jayne said: “That was the darkest time of my life.

“I was so far away from my family and I was really sick with the medication.”

In June 2011 she underwent a mastectomy – the removal of all breast tissue from the affected breast – before undergoing 15 rounds of radiotherapy.

Two years later she had a reconstruction.

Skilled surgeons cut a piece of flesh from her abdomen to create a new breast, entirely from her own skin, tissue, fat, muscle and even a small piece of hip bone to make a new nipple.

Jayne said: “I didn’t realise until then how much only having one breast had affected me.

“I hadn’t felt like a woman, I used to love shopping but I ended up hating going because nothing fitted right.

“But when I saw my new breast I just said ‘wow’, it’s great, I could wear a bikini!”

After that Jayne knew it was time to move back to her hometown of Dumfries.

She said: “I wanted a slower pace of life, cancer has made me realise how short life really is.

” Five years on and Jayne is ‘cancer free’ but remains on hormone suppressing drugs to force a menopause, as her cancer was oestrogen and progesterone fed.

She may have to continue on them for another five years.

Since her diagnosis, Jayne has worked to help others affected by breast cancer, particularly young women.

Next week she will take to the runway for Breast Cancer Care’s annual Scottish fashion show in Glasgow.

The glamorous event will raise vital funds to enable the charity to provide anyone affected by breast cancer with expert care, support and information.

Jayne also recently got engaged to Richard and has a new career as a baby photographer.

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■ EVERY year nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK, that’s the equivalent of one person every ten minutes

■ One in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime

■ Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the UK

■ Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year

■ Breast cancer also affects men, but it’s rare – around 400 men are diagnosed each year

■ More than eight out of 10 (85 per cent) people survive breast cancer beyond five years.

cancer infograph

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