What would you say to the person that has participated in research that will prevent your cancer from coming back? For Lisa Bird, it’s a profound ‘thank you’.
Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47 and was about to go on holiday to Bali when she noticed a lump on her right breast, which seemed to have come out of nowhere.
“I have had regular mammograms since turning 45 and the last one earlier in the year was clear. I was very concerned but decided to continue my plans for travelling to Bali without telling anyone, as I felt the need to process it and I secretly hoped it would shrink. I suppose upon reflection it was a bit of a head-in-the-sand reaction. I went straight to the doctor upon my return home,” Lisa said.
Unfortunately, Lisa’s worst fears were realised.
“My husband was with me for every appointment after the first one while all tests were done. We did not tell anyone else until the diagnosis was confirmed," Lisa continued. "Men quite typically like to ‘fix’ everything, so feeling helpless to make this go away was a struggle for him right from the start.
“It was very difficult telling our daughters, but they showed strength and made me proud with their maturity. My mother was also hard to tell as she has lost many to cancer including my dad, so she was understandably upset. She is a worrier by nature. I had told my best friend while in Bali that I had felt something out of the norm, so she was slightly prepared. The strongest reaction was my sister-in-law who just burst into tears.”
Lisa describes the time after her diagnosis as "a whirlwind".