Brave mum’s breast cancer diagnosis after doctors told her 3 times it was ‘nothing’
A brave mum was diagnosed with breast cancer after being told three times it was “nothing to worry about”.
Lori Delaney, 34, was assured by doctors she was too young but pushed for her health fears to be taken seriously – something she is convinced saved her life.
She was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive stage three form of the disease in October 2019 before being prescribed six rounds of chemotherapy.
The mum-of-two’s treatment was initially cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic but she then underwent intense radiotherapy.
“I was told three times it was nothing. If I hadn’t followed my own instincts then god knows where I would have been,” Lori, from Glasgow, told the Daily Record.
“I just wasn’t feeling right and had a lump on my lip which I was a bit worried about, so I went to my GP, who said my iron was low.”
The week before she’d stopped off in a Breast Cancer Awareness truck at her local Tesco, worried that her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer two months before.
But she was told they “wouldn’t touch me” because she was under 50, but later she found a tiny lump and went to her doctor.
“She said it was nothing to worry about, it was just a lump young women get to do with hormones, and she said I didn’t fit the profile.”
Lori persisted, however, and said her doctor eventually offered to send her to Gartnaval Hospital for further checks “as a precaution and to put my mind at rest”.
Lori, who lives with husband Scott and children Harry, six, and five-year-old Ella, then attended the hospital’s specialist clinic for further tests and experienced similar treatment.
She had tests but was told by a specialist surgeon she had “never been so sure in her life” that there was nothing wrong and it was likely a benign lump.
“They did a biopsy but said that was routine and they didn’t do a mammogram because they weren’t worried, and I was so young,” the mum continued.
Theatre maker Lori was in the middle of a masters degree in performance practice at the University of Glasgow as she waited for results.
But she was unprepared for the devastating news when they got in touch two weeks later.
“I was just in a haze,” she admitted.
“At that stage I was thinking it was fine because it was only two centimetres, I thought they would just cut it out and we would move on.”
When Lori and Scott went to the hospital the next day the same medic who told her not to worry “said she was so sorry because she’d never been so sure of something in her life”.
“I was just hearing all this stuff, it was a blur, then I heard ‘grade three’ and that it was the most aggressive type and at that point I felt sick. “
Within days Lori had lumpectomy surgery and the lump was sent to the US for tests to determine whether her body would respond to chemo.
After another two weeks she was told she would be undergoing six rounds of the treatment and knew her life was “going to be turned upside down”.
Lori said her mum had had stage one skin cancer 12 years ago and she assumed doctors would similarly “cut it out and then we could wash our hands of it”.
Despite feeling “very scared” she had her aunt shave her head which made her “feel more empowered”.
Lori described the effects of chemo as “brutal”, adding: “No-one talks about how you put on weight because of steroids, your nose hair goes, eyelashes go, toe nails start falling off, you stop being able to sleep.”
She said as she’s young and “clean living” the drugs “take it out of you more”.
Lori decided not to defer from her masters degree and continued to study as she battled the disease.
But within months she faced another hurdle with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which affected her treatment plan.
“All of a sudden all the things put in place as support for patients was taken away,” Lori said.
Lori’s radiotherapy treatment eventually finished in May and she was declared cancer free – though will continue on medication for 10 years and is determined to raise awareness to help other young women.
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