Margaret Dennison admits she was no stranger to cancer when doctors found she had the disease aged 57.
Her late husband had the condition, and her mother too, while her aunt died of the illness. But the diagnosis still came as a surprise, she said.
“I was fit as a fiddle and I’d been very good with my mammograms, so I thought it would give me some kind of ‘insurance’ – I was wrong.”
She underwent surgery and chemotherapy at Weston Park Hospital.
Margaret added: “Chemotherapy left me absolutely shattered; I remember being sick in the car on the way to the hospital. After the sessions I had what I describe as ‘chemo head’ – I felt fuzzy, I couldn’t concentrate to read, had no energy and I also felt panicky in shops, which isn’t like me.”
Soon afterwards she contacted the Sheffield charity Cavendish Cancer Care, which offers counselling and complementary therapies to those affected by the illness, including carers and children as well as patients.
Last week the Sheffield Telegraph threw its support behind Cavendish’s appeal to collect £193,000 to move to a new home on Wilkinson Street, Broomhall. Last year the number of people taking up therapy rose by 14 per cent.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – last year 455 people affected by the illness visited Cavendish.
Visit www.next25.co.uk for details. Cheques can be made payable to Cavendish Cancer Care and sent to 27 Wilkinson Street, S10 2GB. Donations by bank card on 0114 2754070.