Lesley Abraham

“Having cancer and my scar never stopped me being who I am and wearing my lippy”

Lesley Abraham 51, Office Manager and Founder Trustee

“I was first diagnosed 10 years ago. I have come so far that I no longer have scans. This was a scary moment last September when I was told I was getting discharged – it was like my safety blanket had been pulled from under me. Scans brought with them their own worries, lots of scaniexty, but check-ups were the place to air those worries. Cancer will always walk alongside me, I just have to not let it walk in front of me, I will always be who I am but with a different perception.

“I used to write everything down in my notebook, my husband took notes at consultations, I voiced my thoughts, those things that go through your head then you forget, just when you need to remember, my book helped me. My husband and children came on my cancer journey with me, but we were always careful to use the right words to my two young children (8 and 9 at the time), my lump was a tumour until the day they asked me “mum is your tumour cancer?” My children also thought I was their dad when they saw my shaved head for the first time!

“My 3 Js (Jilly, Julie and Joy) looked after me through chemo, looking after the children while I was in hospital, baking Victoria sponge as that was one of the things I could eat and keep down, ironing, cleaning and anything else that was needed. My girlfriends celebrate with me every year on the anniversary of the end of treatment with a weekend away. This year was the 10th anniversary and the girls presented me with a heart and wings charm engraved ‘soul sisters’.

“Having cancer and my scar never stopped me being who I am and wearing my lippy, as well as matching headscarves to outfits kept me feeling like me. All my girlfriends know me for my ‘lippy’ and I love anything associated with lips or lipsticks! My hand has numbness and loss of sensation and I have a scar where the tumour was removed and skin damaged by radiotherapy, as well as weakness in the wrist and stiffness in the arm but hey, I have my arm so they are small things in comparison to the alternative”