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Patricia's cancer nightmare; She was diagnosed just weeks after her mum's death.

Byline: Kirsty McKenzie

When Patricia McAneny was diagnosed with breast cancer just eight weeks after losing her own mum to the disease, her first thought was how she was going to break the news to her family.

The 44-year-old first received the devastating diagnosis when she was referred to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in February 2017, shortly after her mum Sophia died two days before Christmas.

The football coach from Erskine had found the dimple days after her mum passed away but hoped that the mammogram would confirm her GP's suspicions that it was only a cyst.

The mum-of-two told the Express that she never imagined she'd have to tell those she loved, including her husband Scott, 49, daughter Brogan, 18, and son Ciaran, 14, that she also had the terrible disease.

She said: "I was such an active person and was feeling tired ,but I put that down to losing my mum.

"When I found an indentation, I didn't really worry as my GP was sure it was just a cyst. I went to the RAH on my own and I was there for hours.

"That's when I knew something was wrong, something bad was coming.

"All I could think about was how can I put my family through this all over again? "I had just buried my mum, so my diagnosis was a huge shock.

It took my breath away.

"After losing my mum, we thought maybe things would turn around for us. We were looking forward to the future.

"To be hit with that news eight weeks to the day of my mum's death was just unimaginable."

Patricia's treatment started in April 2017, but just like her mum, Patricia's body struggled to cope with the endless rounds of chemotherapy.

She underwent a mastectomy before she attempted two more rounds of chemotherapy, but each time she took a severe reaction.

"It felt like a heart attack, like I was being crushed by 10 buses.

" We now know that it is because I am allergic to chemotherapy."

Patricia maintains that throughout it all, it was her sense of humour that helped to pull her through the toughest times.

Another huge boost was the love and support she found when she joined her local Moving Forward group, provided by Breast Cancer Care.

She said: "After my treatment was finished, my breast cancer nurse referred me to the Moving Forward course at the Watermill, in Paisley.

"The course was a lifesaver. " After your treatment finishes, you are left wondering what do I do now, where do I go? "I felt this was really the start of my cancer journey."

At the group, Patricia and 10 other women came together to receive information and help across various topics, including diet, exercise, finance and counselling.

Now Patricia says she wants to encourage more women to join the Moving Forward sessions.

She said: "It's probably the single best thing I've done after my treatment.

"You have your good days and your bad days, but having support and a laugh with others who have been through the same thing really gets you through.

"Life doesn't stop when you get cancer - and there are people out there to help you."

If you would like to learn more about the free Moving Forward course in Paisley, call Breast Cancer Care on 0345 077 1893 or email movingforward@breastcancercare.org.uk

CAPTION(S):

Still smiling Patricia McAnemy says a good sense of humour is what pulls her through

Family first Patricia was worried how her diagnosis would affect her family,

Models Patricia McAnemy is among those walking the catwalk for Breast Cancer Care Scotland this week

Staying strong Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer just eight weeks after losing her mum to the disease

Campaigning for change Now she wants more woman to feel empowered after their treatment and join Paisley's Moving Forward course
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Date:Oct 23, 2018
Words:646
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