A mom who beat breast cancer has shared how a cuddle with her children saved her life.
Julie Kerridge, 44, originally felt a lump in her breast in 2018 and has shared her story in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The mom-of-two was cuddling her kids when she noticed a lump on her chest – prompting her to get it checked out.
Her GP was unsure, but referred Julie to a consultant at Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk who sent her to have a mammogram and ultrasound scan.
Tests revealed that Julie had a 5.6cm tumor and cancer in four of her seven lymph nodes.
Julie from Ipswich, Suffolk, said: “I was cuddling one of my children one day, and I felt something a bit strange.
“At first, I thought I was being paranoid, but I kept feeling it and there was definitely something there.
“And when they did the ultrasound, I just knew from the expressions on their face something was wrong.”
Julie was quickly booked to have a mastectomy – an operation to remove her breast.
Being told that she needed the operation was upsetting, but Julie said there was never any doubt that it was the right decision.
The operation was successful, as were subsequent rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
After three reconstructive surgeries, Julie finished treatment in July 2020.
She now takes hormone therapy tablets each day to prevent the cancer from returning and is urging other women not to hesitate in getting checked out.
Julie, who works as an accountant for the NHS, said: “If somebody says something needs to be done, by not having it removed, you’re limiting your life.
“You’re not going to see your kids grow up, so you just have to do it.
“I had such a positive experience in terms of the way I was treated at the hospital and the way I was looked after.
““I feel like I owe the NHS something. They’ve given me so much support – they’ve given me my life.”
“I’d encourage everyone to check themselves regularly, and to make sure that any concerns are properly investigated.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker