A Hull grandma that survived breast cancer has spoken out about her diagnosis – and why she is now taking part in a ‘Full Monty’ event to raise awareness.
Julie Morrod has a history of cancer in the family, with her mum dying at 31, when Mrs Morrod was only seven. She was encouraged to visit the doctor each year to screen herself for the disease.
During a check up and despite not having any symptoms, Mrs Morrod, now 59, was given the terrible news in August 2009 that she had breast cancer.
Fortunately, after six weeks of intense radiotherapy and an operation to remove her lymph notes, Mrs Morrod was given the all clear in December 2009. She is now fighting fit, but at the time of her illness says she did not know if she would survive.
“The doctor felt a lump on my breast and I had to have a biopsy as a result, and it later came back that I had cancer,” said Mrs Morrod.
“They said the lump was attached to my bone, so there was also the fear that it had spread, but luckily it hadn’t after some further tests, but getting the news I had breast cancer was absolutely terrifying.
“What’s even scarier is that if I hadn’t had the check up because of the history of cancer in the family, I’d most likely have died, as I had no symptoms and I was 49 at the time, so too young to be going in for a mammogram check up.
“When me and my partner were given the news that I had cancer, my partner dropped to the floor in shock as it just felt like I’d been given a death sentence.
“I asked the doctor if I was going to die, and she said she couldn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t but that they’d do their best for me.”
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Throughout her treatment, Mrs Morrod stayed strong and had a positive attitude for the outcome of her treatment, as she still wanted to be around for her two children and grandchildren.
Now she hopes to inspire others that are going through the same as she did with the disease.
“At the time I had breast cancer, my friend also was – we were both given the all clear, but tragically the cancer came back in her brain and she died at just 46-years-old,” said Mrs Morrod.
“It was so sad and really hard to cope with, and the worry has always been in the back of my mind as to whether or not the cancer could come back, but I’m a positive person and I think my attitude of not letting the cancer win has helped me, as I was determined to stay here for my family.
“I never cried once during the treatment – the only time I cried was when I went to Castle Hill Hospital to be told that I was cancer free, and those tears were tears of joy.
“My lymph nodes were taken out so even now ten years on, if I do any repetitive movements, I get swelling, with one of my boobs even ballooning to the size of a melon before, but that’s a small price to pay for being cancer free.
“My message to anyone out there that may be going through cancer is to not give in, as life goes on – don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself and just carry on doing the things that you normally would when you can.”
To raise money for cancer charity The Pink Ribbon Foundation, Mrs Morrod will be stripping off as part of the ‘Boobyliscous Girls’ with Tracey Noon, Julie Brown, Julie Gardners, Marilyn Kingdom, Louise Bowering and Debbie Anthony.
Symptoms of breast cancer
According to the NHS, most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.
You should see your GP if you notice any of the following:
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain isn’t usually a symptom of breast cancer.
The women have been rehearsing since April 2018 and are performing their very own version of the Full Monty on January 19 from 7pm at Hull Kingston Rovers and have two singers performing on the show, one of whom starred in The Voice.
There will also be a Tina Turner impressionist on stage, and raffle prizes donated by Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle, Hull City and Hull KR.
It is hoped that over £2,000 will be raised at the sell out event for the charity, which raises awareness of breast cancer and has helped many sufferers and families over the years.
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