Cath Johnstone

Cath's story

Cath Johnstone was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2018 after visiting her GP with concerns about an inverted nipple.

A mammogram and a biopsy, followed by a second mammogram, showed Cath had three tumours. 

She underwent a mastectomy at the end of September 2018, followed by a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Cath, 60, who is from Newtongrange in Midlothian, said: 

“I had my first dose of chemotherapy on 19th December but decided I still wanted to spend Christmas Day in my house.

“My sister made all the food and it was my job to set the table. The whole family were coming so it was a big table - it took me four hours! I was exhausted and had to go for a lie down between courses, but I loved having my family around me.

“Chemotherapy made me really poorly sometimes but I was determined to go for a walk round the block every single day, regardless of the weather, to make sure I got exercise and fresh air.

“I’ve been very lucky to have friends and family close by to feed me, keep my house clean and support me. My best friend came to visit every week when I was unwell - she put the kettle on, made me dinner then left with the dirty dishes!

“I celebrated my 60th birthday in June this year and had a ball celebrating all night. I’m so grateful to still be here and to spend time with my three grandchildren – they all try and help in their own way, holding my hands when we’re out walking.

“I’m still tired and have some tightening after my radiotherapy but I’m doing a gradual return to work and I still walk round the block every day.”

Cath’s experience has made her fully aware of the importance of getting checked out early. She said:

“For your own piece of mind, get yourself checked out if you’re worried, and trust the doctors. My mum always told me ‘don’t be feert’ and I still try to live by that.”


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