Loraine

How old were you and how did you come to be diagnosed?

I was 68 and my diagnosis was the result of a routine mammogram. I had an active lifestyle and felt fit and well with none of the usual symptoms. I daren’t contemplate how things would have turned out if I’d missed that mammogram appointment.

What would be your one piece of advice for others starting this journey?

Stay focussed, surround yourself with love and positivity and follow every bit of guidance and advice you receive from your consultant, oncologist and breast care nurses.

What type of surgery did you have? What were your first thoughts?

Following an initial lumpectomy, I had a mastectomy and full lymph node clearance on my right side, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

I felt as though I was in the middle of a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I gradually pulled myself together and vowed to do everything I possibly could to get through what was ahead of me. Thankfully it worked and it’s now two years since I completed my treatments.

What is the best thing to come out of diagnosis?

Finding my new Crazy Hats family and especially my Dare To Bare soulmates. We’re an eclectic group and have become extremely close, yet I probably would never have met them otherwise.

Who or what couldn’t you do without during treatment?

The love, support and limitless hugs I received from my husband, daughters, sons-in-law, and beautiful granddaughters. I don’t think I could have got through it without them. Foodwise, pineapple, cucumber, avocados and poached eggs were also pretty special!

Describe yourself in three words.

Affectionate, loyal and forthright.

Biggest achievement to date?

Marrying the most fantastic man almost 50 years ago and bringing up our girls who continually make us so proud of them. We’ve had a wonderful life together and he’s been my rock every step of the way. I love him to bits.

Craziest thing you have done since treatment?

Standing topless on the winning podium at Silverstone, attempting (and failing) to hide my modesty behind a crash helmet whilst a track event was taking place below me.

Share an unusual fact about yourself.

I love motorbikes and speed and have ridden in a racing sidecar at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland.