HOSPICE fundraiser Jane Dutton was so busy she cancelled a routine mammogram appointment.
But when she had the X-ray a couple of months later, doctors delivered devastating news.
Now after radiotherapy, Jane – who organises the Midnight Memory Walk for Kirkwood Hospice – is on the mend and is back fundraising once again.
The 59-year-old from Almondbury said: “Two days before last year’s walk, I was due to go for a routine mammogram, but as event organiser I was so busy that I rearranged it and was given an appointment in July.
“Five days after my appointment, I received a letter asking me to go for further tests.
“I didn’t think there would be anything wrong, but after a full afternoon of examinations, ultra sounds and biopsies I was told that I had breast cancer.
“I had no symptoms and because of where the lump was, I would not have been able to feel it.
“All I could think was ‘thank goodness for mammograms’.”
The events fundraiser underwent a lumpectomy and had radiotherapy.
Due to her family’s medical history, she had more mammograms than is normally required.
When Jane was told she had cancer, she feared “history was repeating itself.”
Her grandmother died from cancer in 1916, although at the time they were unable to determine which type and her mum May Mellor was also diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 69.
May had the same treatment as Jane, was given the all clear and lived to the age of 91.
To combat the side effects and cope with the disease, Jane visited her friends at Kirkwood Hospice for some help.
She said: “I was immediately taken under the wing of my colleagues at Kirkwood.
“It is a popular misconception that its services are just for those at the end of their life, Kirkwood Hospice offers so much more.
“The hospice supports around 1,350 patients a year, many of whom who never go in to our in-patient unit.
“It offers support to lots of people, people like me.
“I started to attend Drop In at our Support and Therapy Centre and have benefited greatly from complementary therapies; reiki in particular is very relaxing along with weekly sessions of yoga. It is also a great opportunity to meet and talk with other patients in the same situation.
“There is also family support, if my husband and other members of my family had wanted to talk to someone about the effects it was having on him, then that is available.
“Now I have first hand experience of the services on offer I would urge other people going through something like this to take advantage of them.
“To continue to provide all of our services, free of charge, we need to raise in excess of £4.2m this year.
“The Midnight Memory Walk is the biggest fundraising event in Kirkwood Hospice’s calendar, not just because of the amount it raises for patient care at Kirkwood – over £400,000 since its launch – but also because it is the only event that brings together so many people sharing their memories, remembering their loved-ones.
“I hope that as many people as possible will take part in our 25th Anniversary Midnight Memory Walk and help us to make this possible,” Jane added.