Interview 28

Age at interview: 43
Age at diagnosis: 38
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with breast cancer in left breast in 1998, followed by lumpectomy, then mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. In 2000 secondary tumours found in other breast, liver, bones and lung, treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment.
Background: Housewife, married, 2 children

More about me...


Her teenage children knew she was ill but not about all the implications.

Her teenage children knew she was ill but not about all the implications.

They do know I'm poorly yeah, but I think now they can't remember from, there was only from September to March that we thought I was going to be well again anyway, so by the March time it had come back, so they knew, then because I did tell them I was back at the hospital. I didn't say that the cancer's like gone all the way through my body and you know, and mummy's going to be, you know, terminally ill. I didn't say anything like that. It's just that we did explain that you know we're back at the hospital again. 

This year we're going to the hospital, and they've been, they've been to see me have the chemo, you know they can relate too, because I wanted them to see what went on. I wanted them to see the hospital. They're very good. They took their Gameboys and sat there and played with their Gameboys while I had my chemo.

Something that people talk to me about is the pros and cons of telling children of different ages. Children who are young like yours, teenagers, adult children... How you talk to them about what's talked to you - do you have any thoughts on that?

I haven't told them, this is the thing that we, I haven't told them how bad it is which I don't think they do need to know, I mean why, why throw it at them, they don't need to know it. They know I'm poorly, they know I'm going to the hospital, and we'll just leave it at that. I mean it's as much as they do need to know and when I'm poorly they're there for me you know.

Do they ask you any questions?


So if they asked you questions how would you respond to them?

I'd tell them what they wanted to know.


She explains what happens during Reiki and says that it makes her feel good.

She explains what happens during Reiki and says that it makes her feel good.

It's universal energies that comes through... comes through him [the therapist]. We start off with the atmosphere which is the music and relaxation.He goes through the relaxation of breathing, you know you breathe in the light and exhale the dark and then... I mean most of the time I've got my eyes shut so I don't really know what he actually does but it's... 

he doesn't touch me. 

It's not a laying of hands. He like hovers his hands over the top and goes down my body and back up again and it just brings the energies into me.He says he can feel hot spots on some places where he'll put his hands just over my body and it can get very hot which is you know sometimes where my illness is.

And you say you're finding that beneficial?

I do. Very much so. Yes.

Could you put it into words how you find it beneficial?

I think it's probably with the relaxation but also the energy I find that I get from it. 

I feel a lot brighter once I've had it. I mean it could just be that I'm sitting down and lying still with my eyes shut for an hour instead of chasing the children round you know? It could be that. But it's just... 

I do feel good from it. I do feel good. Yeah.

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