'On my 26th birthday, I discovered a golf ball-sized tumor in my breast.'
A TEACHING ASSISTANT has spoken out about her heartbreak after discovering a golf ball-sized lump in her breast on her 26th birthday, just days before being diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer.
Georgia Chapman, from Cardiff, Wales, was getting ready for drinks over Zoom when she found the lump, and her breast had doubled in size within weeks.
Georgia was referred to a breast clinic after visiting a doctor in April of last year, where the cyst was drained and she was told to return in two weeks for another appointment.
"However, prior to that appointment, my breasts had doubled in size and I was experiencing shooting pains in my chest," Georgia explained to WalesOnline.
"I called the clinic crying my eyes out the day before my appointment and asked if they could see me earlier, and they said yes, and they drained the fluid and took a biopsy."
Because of Covid rules at the time, she had to go to a hospital alone two weeks later for her results.
Georgia was devastated when she learned she had stage three triple negative breast cancer and would require seven rounds of chemotherapy and one week of radiotherapy.
"It felt like the ground had just disappeared beneath me," she explained.
"It was an odd moment because I didn't cry; it was a minute of complete silence."
Georgia's misery didn't end there, as a nurse informed her that the treatment could affect her fertility.
Georgia was referred to a fertility clinic before beginning her cancer treatment because she knew she wanted children in the future. She froze 24 of her eggs.
On November 18, she finished her last round of chemotherapy, but she'll have a double mastectomy in a few weeks and will have to wait another year for reconstructive surgery.
Georgia has remained positive throughout her ordeal and is a supporter of Cancer Research UK's Play Your Part campaign.
"No one thinks about people in their 20s getting cancer," she said.
"That is why it is critical for people to conduct self-evaluations."
It's a bit of a taboo to check your breasts, but I can't emphasize how important it is; things would have been so much worse if I hadn't felt that lump and gone to the doctor.
"With Christmas approaching, I'm grateful for the care I've received."
The greatest gift of all has been given to me: more precious moments with my loved ones.
"As a result, I'm hoping that people will donate during the holiday season to help give hope to many more families like mine."