Hi, my name is Mandy Gabriel. I’m 40 and a proud mother to Issy, 5 and Eddie, 2. Ronan is my long-term partner and together we live in Cork. In December 2017 I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive breast cancer. Within 10 days I had a complete mastectomy and removal of 6 lymph nodes. In February I started an intensive 5 months of chemotherapy which was followed by an auxiliary node clearance, and then 15 sessions of Radiotherapy.
After my second pregnancy when my breasts had been bigger (a regular occurrence in pregnancy), I noticed that one went back to normal but the other remained bigger. I went to my GP at that stage, was sent to CUH for a mammogram and got the all-clear. Fast forward eight months to a night out with hotel acquaintances and the appearance of my breasts was still not normal to me, so once again I went to get checked, and so my journey began.
I came to Cork Cancer Care Centre after a friend of Ronan’s (my partner) told him about her daughter who had attended the centre and how much it helped her. Ronan gave her my number and she phoned me and we spoke for ages on the phone. It was the first step to me going to the centre and I’ve never looked back. I loved the holistic treatments! They really helped me to kick-start my life again, and to deal with what I had been through.