Hi, I'm Paula. I'm 34 years old and married to the love of my life James. We have a son called Joey who is 3 and a daughter Clara Grace, now 11 months old.
Our lives suddenly changed last year when I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS breast cancer in January when 16 weeks pregnant with our second child. I continued my pregnancy to 35 weeks & gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Clara Grace.
After giving birth, it was then safe for me to have a mammogram, scans and biopsies to see the extent of the cancer. Unfortunately it had already spread to my lymph nodes. When we shared this news with my Mum, who is our main support emotionally and who looked after our son, she suffered a devastating stroke. It felt as though everything had crumbled around us and I didn't know how I could get through all to come without her beside us. Ten months on and my Mum is still recovering, unfortunately she is no longer able to drive or help us look after our children alone whilst I continue to undergo treatment.
Seven weeks after giving birth I had a mastectomy and TUG reconstruction. This meant my own tissue was taken from my upper thigh to create a new breast. It was a tough 12 week recovery. I was healing from 3 operation wounds whilst trying to care for our son and newborn daughter. I was then told I would need 12 weeks of weekly chemotherapy, herceptine injections and daily tablets for the next five years. It's been an incredibly tough year to say the least and certainly not the way I envisioned spending maternity leave.
To get through all the appointments, operations and chemotherapy, we have had to pay out for additional childcare for our 3 year old son. I have not received any sick pay, just statutory maternity pay. Although we saved what we could, my husbands salary was not enough to cover our mortgage, bills and childcare so we took out a £6,000 loan.
Help us please
What we are asking for is funds to pay back the loan to alleviate the financial stress and help me focus on my ongoing treatment and upcoming operations. To have one less thing to worry about would be incredible. I hope that by turning to crowdfunding, we can ask for this help. This is the first time we have ever asked for financial help and would be so grateful for any funding.
I documented my treatment journey on this blog. Please do read it if you can spare the time
To everyone that donates and helps, thank you.
You have made a huge difference to us at this particularly difficult time in our lives.
If you can't afford to donate, please do share. It would be very much appreciated.