Sirkka (63 years old) is married and has 4 grown children. She works as a certified personal support worker providing personal care to people in her region.
Sirkka was diagnosed in 2008 and is currently being treated by her care team as though the cancer has metastasized even though this has not yet been confirmed through testing. Sirkka first noticed something was wrong when she felt something like little pinches in her chest. She saw her GP and then had a mammogram. Sirkka was not too worried and forgot about it when, just after her test, her mother died. She received a phone call from her doctor 3 months after the mammography, with the news that something suspicious had been found. She then had a troublesome time getting an appointment with the surgeon who initially didn’t call her back. It was only 8 months after she had first felt the pinches in her chest that a biopsy was done. Unfortunately the test results of the biopsy showed that the breast cancer was of a more serious nature. Sirkka then had surgery to remove the whole breast followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Sirkka decided to go and see a surgeon in another city for a TRAM flap breast reconstruction. A couple of months after this surgery Sirkka noticed lumps in her abdominal area and she had a biopsy at a local clinic; the biopsy went through the mesh that had been placed during her reconstruction to compensate for the loss of the muscle removed during the TRAM flap. This resulted in a serious infection as, Sirkka has learned later, a biopsy should not have been done through the mesh. Sirkka has since undergone several surgeries to remove the infected mesh. Sirkka has had back pain on and off for more than 30 years as this could also be a symptom of recurrence she is currently being treated as though the cancer has metastasized. Sirkka has always been a healthy, positive minded person and appreciates it when health care professionals are straight forward and provide her with all the essential information.