Pamela Carolan noticed a slight change of shape in her breast and felt a lump. She quickly went to see her GP, and it was confirmed that she did, in fact, have a lump about the size of a golf ball. A week later, she had an emergency mammogram and biopsy. She was told that the results would take three days to arrive. She describes those days as the longest of her life.
When the results came back, her world came crashing down — the doctor told her the four words no one ever wants to hear: ‘You have breast cancer.’
‘I was in denial, being told I had breast cancer and that if it didn’t get treated, I could possibly die. It was a very big shock, especially as there is no history of breast cancer in my family. Not only that, but I actually didn’t feel sick when I found the lump. I asked the doctor if he was sure. I was too young; I told them they’d made a mistake.’
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a mistake. Pamela had stage 2 breast cancer and would have to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
‘I have been a member of the Universal Church for 15 years. Even when I felt very sick after the chemo sessions, I attended the services and God always made me stronger. I didn’t want to have surgery, but after speaking to one of the advisers, I was reminded that I should use my faith while also always following my doctor’s advice. I also changed the way I ate and started including a lot more fruits and vegetables in my diet as well as drinking two litres of water a day.’
With her mind set on beating this disease, she fought all she could.
‘After seven rounds of chemotherapy, my doctors said the tumour had shrunk to 2 cm, but I was also told that I may need more chemo after surgery. The thought of that made me adamant that I didn’t want more chemo, so I started to pray even more, determined that I wouldn’t need more chemo. I kept helping and volunteering at the church whenever I could. My friends and family were also fundamental pillars during my illness.’
Thankfully, with a strong mindset, fantastic medical team, and her faith, Pamela was told that she wouldn’t need a second round of chemo and would need just three weeks of radiotherapy after surgery.
Pamela says: ‘The bad news I heard didn’t stop me from believing. Keep on believing in God, keep following your doctor’s instruction and never give up!’