We first shared 35-year-old Sam’s story as part of our Christmas appeal last year. After discovering a lump in her breast whilst breast feeding her daughter, Sam was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke to Sam about her journey with breast cancer. Thanks to the incredible care she has received at Leeds Cancer Centre, Sam is now in remission.

“I had surgery in January after finishing my chemotherapy in December, this way a lumpectomy and full lymph node removal. I’m pleased to say my chemo worked amazingly and the surgeon could barely find any remnant of cancer! I then went on to have 20 sessions of radiotherapy which were really hard but I made it through and I’m delighted to say I’m now officially in remission!”

“The cancer journey is horrible, no one wants to go through it...but the amazing staff at Leeds Cancer Centre helped me get through the entire thing. They all have a great smile and friendly demeanour which helps make the whole process just that little easier. I am so grateful for the support and kindness they all showed not just me, but all of the patients and family who are going through treatment and beyond.”

Read More: Sam's Story - Leeds Hospitals Charity at Christmas 

“I have recently returned to work and am slowly trying to get used to my "new normal". I get tired a lot quicker than before, and I suffer from really bad brain fog still, which I’m told is normal and will get better. Right now, life is about trying to find new ways to cope with the new me. I try to enjoy every moment I can with my little girl, making memories. We have managed to get away for a couple of short breaks at the seaside which was lovely and have just booked a lovely Christmas experience. It's lovely to be able to make plans for fun things this Christmas!”

“As a fairly young person to get breast cancer, I think breast cancer awareness month is so important. I always thought I was too young to get breast cancer. I didn't check my breasts regularly like you should - I only found my cancer by chance when I was breast feeding my then 18-month-old daughter. I always thought of breast cancer as something that happened to other people and that it would never happen to me. Screening for breast cancer doesn't start until you are older, and it is so important to check yourselves regularly and know what is normal or not for you. I came across people from all walks of life with breast cancer throughout my journey - older ladies, a lot more younger ladies than I ever imagined and men too.”