4 years since diagnosis
Age at interview: 46
Jeanette (46 years old) works as a postmaster. She has two grown children who were both living at home when she was diagnosed.
Jeanette was diagnosed in 2012 following a regular mammogram. Jeanette and her doctor had been unable to feel the lump themselves. With the first lumpectomy the results showed that the cancer was invasive. She had to undergo a second lumpectomy to check if the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, which it fortunately hadn’t. Jeanette was then treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Currently, Jeanette is taking hormones and she hardly notices any side effects. Overall, Jeanette is very satisfied with the support from the medical team and felt that the nurses knew exactly what to advise when she was, for example, struggling with the difficult side effects of chemo. At the time of the diagnosis, Jeanette decided to tell her children as soon as her son finished his exams for university which was two days before her surgery. After her chemotherapy, Jeanette went back to work with a bald head which was hard to do as customers would not recognize her but at the same time it gave her hope and strength as she received support from people who would share their own illness stories. And now she does the same when she meets customers that have cancer. Work helped Jeanette to focus on something else and to feel that everything is returning back to normal. It has also helped her to use jokes and laughter to deal with the situation that is sometimes so hard and scary to live with. Jeanette’s way of looking at life has changed since her diagnosis she now lives each day for the day and she takes the time to enjoy the beauty of nature or enjoy a good book.
- Radiation therapy – JeannetteJeanette's radiation technician came to visit her on his day off to say goodbye to her.
- Chemotherapy – JeannetteBeing bald out in public provoked some supportive reactions from customers, but it was harder within Jeanette's family – some cousins didn't know she was ill.
- Finding and sharing information – JeannetteJeannette felt very informed as the nurses sat down with her to explain everything.
- How it affects family and friends – Jeannette (3)When Jeanette's nephews and nieces saw her bald head they did not know that she had cancer; she told them she just wanted to cut all her hair off.
- How it affects family and friends – Jeannette (2)When a woman stared at Jeanette's bald head, her daughter was angry but Jeanette thought she might just know what she was going through.
- How it affects family and friends – JeannetteWhen Jeanette's nephews and nieces saw her bald head they did not know that she had cancer; she told them she just wanted to cut all her hair off.