My name is Teresa Costello, I am 38 years old and I have an 8 year old son called Rhys. In August 2013 at the age of 36 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, as you can imagine my diagnosis was a total shock, I was a gym junkie way too fit to be sick, but lesson number 1 in this part of my life was Cancer doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care if you have children or loved ones who need you, if you are young, old, rich, poor , if you have a career you are passionate about or even if you have already had tragedy in your life no one is exempt. When it decided to point its finger in my direction, I had practically no experience or knowledge about Cancer, but I learned very quickly what a diagnosis brings with it.
It was like a whirlwind within 2 weeks I was having my first chemo session which coincided with my sons 6th birthday. I had 8 sessions of chemo which lasted over 16 weeks. I then went on to have surgery which was a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and clearance of my lymph nodes. When I recovered from surgery I then had 6 weeks of radiotherapy which was by far for me the easiest part of all treatments, this took me up to May 2014. Since then I have gone on to have an additional 2 surgeries for reconstruction. By September 2014 I had returned to work and to this day am in full health and cancer free.
When first diagnosed I felt very isolated and not very well informed on how to cope with treatment and life during treatment. My vanity got the better of me and I researched everything myself and am now I want to share what I learned with all of you guys so you have a greater insight than I did.
This photo below is one of the only bald pictures that I have it was taken when I was coming to the end of my chemo. I really hated the baldness and I can honestly say i didn’t embrace it at all. I wore my wig 24/7 there were some very hot times. Even wearing the wig made me feel like I was lying to the world. During treatment I kept life as normal as I possibly could. I even managed to squeeze in my gym sessions. It didn’t feel like it at the beginning but the time passed by so quickly and before I knew it treatment was over.
My facebook page Breast Friends is a great place to share experiences, support and talk to not only people with Breast Cancer but their family and friends also. Breast Cancer has a ripple effect and its not only the patient that suffers. Almost 3 years on from my diagnosis and I am happy and healthy. I love to socialise, exercise, try new things so expect lots of reviews. I am also a Patient Ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland the amazing charity that I am so proud to be a part of. I will keep you updated on all of the initiatives they are working on and events I will be involved in.