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Breast health

A ‘new’ person since first diagnosis

Mum of two, Kim, has had breast cancer three times in the last ten years.

“The first time, I felt like my life was over….

“I internalised everything. The boys were doing exams and I didn’t want my illness to distract them.”

“The second time, I gave myself a talking to…

“You’ve got through it before; you’ll do it again.”

“The third time, I took control.

“I started with small things, like shaving off my hair for charity rather than waiting for it to fall out, which was really empowering.”

Kim also speaks warmly of her friend Ange. “She’s been a tower of strength. She always visited and treated me like the person I am rather than a sick person. I feel very lucky – everyone needs a friend like Ange”.

Ange introduced Kim to Breast Cancer Haven, a charity that supports people affected by breast cancer. “They were a lifeline. I had counselling, which helped me to decide what I really wanted from life. It gave me time to focus on myself, which calmed my thoughts and helped me to relax”.

I was very proud to graduate with my headscarf under my mortarboard.

“I see things very differently now. Before my diagnosis I wasn’t making the most out of my life. I am much more positive now”.

“I love jive dancing, I have a renewed love of dress-making and I have completed a degree in business leadership. I was very proud to graduate with my headscarf under my mortarboard.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m back to my old self because the old Kim no longer exists. I’m a better version of her and I credit my family, friends and Breast Cancer Haven for helping me to find the new me”.

More about Kim:

Kim Cannaby is in her 50s and lives near Portsmouth. Married to Mike for 26 years and with two sons now in their twenties. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer three times in ten years. 

Since her first diagnosis she has explored her creative side with jive dancing, making clothes and jewellery. She has also continued with her 20-year career in the NHS and studied for and graduated from her degree in business leadership whilst going through treatment – with her headscarf under her mortarboard.

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