'You suddenly realise that you have to just go out there and enjoy life'
Jayne Le Cras had just celebrated her 50th birthday when she went for a routine mammogram. The news that she had breast cancer devastated her, but 10 years on she talks to Jill Chadwick about how that diagnosis changed her life forever
TO SAY that Jayne Le Cras has never suffered fools is a bit of an understatement and having undergone a long tough treatment regime, these days she feels that even more keenly.
'I have learned, probably the hardest way, that life is precious and your friends and family are everything to you. Spending time with them and enjoying life is what you must do. Every single day I make a point of seeing someone I want to spend time with, and I enjoy doing so and I suffer fools even less than before.'
Jayne has always been a strong character, forthright yet kind, and passionate about life. She was the operations director of the GSPCA when her cancer was diagnosed in July 2006 after she took up an invitation to have a routine mammogram.
'I then went off to Italy for a week and the day I got back I was opening my mail and found one asking me to come back for a second appointment. I had missed that one because I was away and there was another letter saying that as a matter of urgency, I had to get back in touch with the unit.
'I did so the next day and within a matter of hours another mammography exam and an ultrasound confirmed that there was a mass in one of my breasts.'
Jayne explains that she did not feel unwell and could not feel any lump.
'I saw the surgeon, Jonathon Rice, that same day and I had a biopsy. I admit I was terrified. They told me I would get the results in about four days.'
She was subsequently given the news that the mass was cancerous and it was suggested that she have a mastectomy that following week.
'For me the hardest thing is that you are given the news by the team on a Friday and over that weekend you go away with nobody to talk to or discuss your options. I found that very hard. I telephoned a friend that night and she gave me two names of people she thought may help me.
I called them both on the Friday night and left messages and the next day one of them, Gillian Tidd, called me back straight away and said: 'I will be with you in half an hour.'
Jayne says that Gill turned out to be her rock.
'I am so grateful to her, she was phenomenal. She sat with me most of that morning she showed me her scars and told me what had happened to her then made me a promise that a year on she and I would be drinking a glass of champagne and having a massive party.'
Read the full interview with Jayne Le Cras and find out how to take part in the Pink Ladies Sunset Coastal Walk in today's Guernsey Press
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