Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

With Breast Cancer Awareness month happening in October Netball South West are very grateful to Natasha for sharing her experience of breast cancer and the impact that playing netball had on her journey.

“In November 2020 I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in my right breast. Hearing the news I had breast cancer was the worst day of my life. All I could think of was my two girls and who would look out for them if I died. I had 18 chemotherapy sessions, lumpectomy, and lymph node clearance under my arm and then 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I finished all my treatment in September 2021 and was told that I was cancer free. I was very lucky that I caught my breast cancer early, if I had left it any longer it could have spread to other organs which would have made my diagnosis terminal. It was a relief when I finished my treatment and I realised just how strong a person I am. Hearing those words “it’s over” was the best feeling ever. I asked myself a lot of the time why me, why have I got cancer, I am too young, I am only 37. I will never be the old Tash again, but I will thrive to be the new me. 

Having played netball since I was 7 years old, the sport is an important part of my life and I have made so many great netball friends from it. When I was diagnosed, netball wasn’t going ahead but as soon as it was back on I was keen to play. Throughout my chemotherapy, I continued going to Sue Anderson’s (former Bristol NDCC) sessions at Merchants. I made myself play half the time as I was sometimes exhausted from my treatment. I played all the way up to surgery and went back to netball quite quickly after, I was so keen to get back to being me again.

Throughout my journey with breast cancer, netball has helped me emotionally, socially and physically. Just turning up, meeting new people, and playing a game that I love. Sue was checking in on me throughout the sessions making sure I was ok and not overdoing it. I am now playing in a league with my team Portishead Pirates and enjoying the sport that I love.

I would like to thank a few people who all have a big place in my heart and whom I couldn’t have got through this without: Sue Anderson for taking me to all my chemotherapy sessions and picking me up and for making me a lovely bag of hospital goodies to help me through them. Emma Dorrington for dropping and picking Rosealin up from school. And my netball team Portishead Pirates especially Lindy for raising money to help me look like me again and have some dignity back. Also for the constant check ins and calls and just caring for me, I will never forget that. 

Everyone deals with cancer differently I choose to be positive, actively play the sport I love and live life to the full.”

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone who is going through or has been through cancer. For more support and information please follow the links below:

https://breastcancernow.org/

https://breastcancersupport.org.uk/

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/breast-cancer

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/living-with/resources-books

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)