My name is Mary Spreadbury and I am 72 years of age. I have had cancer 3 times and I am still living a busy life and most of all I am enjoying myself. I sit on the Local Cancer Champions Board in Knowsley, where KPAIS are delivering the Cancer Older People and Advocacy project.
I would like to share my experience with you. I have had 2 mastectomies and reconstruction. The first mastectomy was in December 1995 when I was studying for my degree. I had 6 weeks of radiotherapy (of course weekends off for good behaviour!) I went back to college and continued with my studies. The second was a year later almost to the day in December 1996. Then chemo and all that goes with it.
I have had a few frights along the way. At one time they thought the cancer had gone to my lungs, but luckily enough it was found to be the damage caused by the treatment that I have had to keep me alive. Another time there was a lump in my neck, that was fatty tissue and so it goes on. I always smile when they tell you that you are in remission, whatever that means.
I only had advocacy help in the last couple of years. As I’m getting older I feel I need specialist help because my needs change with ageing. This is why I’m volunteering with Knowsley Cancer Older People and Advocacy as it’s so important that advocacy for older people affected by cancer is a must.
Mary Spreadbury, Local Cancer Champion, Knowsley