Bodybuilder Susie Hazlewood – Inspirational Breast Cancer Story #charity

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2015 a picture of a cancer victim who bravely showed off her mastectomy scars from a life-saving operation went viral. Susie Hazlewood proudly shared the incredible naked photo showing the scars from her treatment and Facebook went crazy, being shared by nearly 50,000 with social media users praising the mum-of-three for her bravery and confidence.

Bodybuilder and Fitness fanatic Susie, who competes in bodybuilding competitions, was first diagnosed with breast cancer 2014.

She underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy after doctors found the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

Susie is now going through reconstruction and has been put into menopause to help prevent the cancer from coming back.

Susie kindly allowed me to interview her, despite only hours away from going into Surgery. As she gave the interview, she came across as a very brave, inspirational lady. I felt very privileged to listen and write about her story that had hit the headlines which went viral across the social networks.

Susie tells me her story:

Breast Cancer can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate.  My surgeon was rather apprehensive about the type of reconstruction that I should have.

”Back in October when my picture went viral for Breast Cancer month, my surgeon called me one Saturday morning as I was on the front of the newspaper as the main story.  He had been looking at my body and as I’m unique he called me . This because, I’ve pushed through everything they threw at me with the two lots of surgery within a couple of weeks of each other and then the most aggressive chemo . ”

I would go into hospital in the morning have my chemo then off to work in the afternoon . Having my own business if I don’t work I didn’t get paid! Simples, as I’m a single parent with three boys to support. So I had to just get on with it, which sometimes helped because I weight train which I have done for 25 years plus and I’m a spin instructor – being fit and healthy is another reason I think I’ve just pushed through and I carried on training throughout.

I’m always pushing myself, my last figure fitness competition was Sunday September 14th 2014 and my mastcetomy Tuesday 16th September 2014 . I won that competition . (Susie says with a big smile – and rightly so). I stood on stage at the jersey opera house after winning and made a speech telling everyone I had breast cancer and was going into hospital two days later . I got a standing aviation. My middle son Brandon also videoed it .

Because there has been so much media coverage around my initial picture and as it got shared over 100,000 times up to date. Over night everyone wanted to know my story. I was invited to be a guest on channel television news in the studio for an interview. In the Sunday mirror newspaper. I was a live guest on BBC radio jersey. Did a telephone interview with channel 103 radio. In the gallery magazine and bailiwick express online magazine, to name a few…

So with all this going on, I think my surgeon wanted to make sure he did the best for me. He had spoken to a plastic surgeon at the London Victoria hospital about me and asked if I would consider going to see him. But if I had one of the procedures he carries out, I would need to have the operation done in London. That alone put me off being away from my boys and friends, no support – Plus when he explained what was involved. To get better looking boobs basically, they would cut across the back muscle, inner thigh and all the way across my stomach, so I would end up with scars all over instead of just my boobs.

I compete in my figure fitness comps yearly ok last year, I couldn’t but I want to be able to again hopefully this year. With all the cuts through the muscle I wouldn’t be able to and that’s what I do. He said, even that would be hard as I don’t have any fat I’m just muscle. I said, I Would consider it even just going to speak with the surgeon in London. But the appointment to see him for a chat came through for February 5th 2016, I was scheduled in for my expander op here in January 14th and I had waited and waited to get this op.

Changing my whole wardrobe from September 16th 2014 as only having one boob meant all my vests and bikinis etc I had I just couldn’t wear everything had to be high necked to cover my stick on boob. I wanted a bit of normality back, I had looked forward to this op as the start of getting back to normal again. 

In December I had my appointment with my surgeon here and basically as he calls it “rail roaded” him into agreeing to the original plan of the expander implant and box. He was concerned it wouldn’t work as my skin in the chest area is really thin and the blood vessels are all damaged from the radiotherapy. With putting the implant expander in and the skin flap over he wasn’t sure the blood vessels would carry the blood through and he feared it would turn black and wouldn’t work.

I explained I wanted to try that and I understood it may my work then, I would have to look at different.  But if you don’t try you will be let with ‘What if’ …

A New Year starts – and on January 14th 2016 in I go at 8am. I got taken straight away to be marked up and once again by my surgeon explained, that it may not work and did I understand. My best friend then left me as I’m walking down to the theatre.

Next I remember is waking up with an oxygen mask in recovery. I always take a lot longer than normal to wake, so I was taken back to the ward sleepy and high I morphine. My best friends visited that evening I was talking rubbish, they said from the drugs – but we had a look at the boob and it was the start of one there again. The expander they put in is filled at the top with silicone but the bottom is flat and then there is a plastic box underneath where they will pump it up from.

All went well the surgeon the following morning was happy, He said we will know in the next five days if it has taken, if it doesn’t go black the blood vessels are working the drain I had in again was filling up with the gunge so that was all fine. Well the Monday, only 4 days later all looked great and home I went. Still no blackness just a small amount of bruising underneath.

The Friday – a week and a day after the op,  I had to go back to the breast clinic to have the dressing looked it. They were happy and the dressing completely came off. It was healing nicely. So what happens now is the surgeon wants to leave it for three months for the skin to stretch a little getting use to the implant there and the stitches to heal well then they will start to inject the saline into the lower part bit by bit . This will take approx a year to do to get any size in the implant as they need to stretch the skin slowly as my whole breast was taken away so there is no free skin.

This is a start but I still have a long way to go another three operations and several more hospital visits to inject the saline in bit by bit. The other boob then will need to be matched in size with a reduction etc as they will not be able to get the implant to my size I was. People do not realise reconstructive surgery is not a boob job as many think it’s a lot more detailed and entails several operations not just one. But I’m on the right road .

My closest friends and I have done a lot for the charity ABC which is After Breast Cancer Jersey they are a small charity made up of all people who have been through the disease and they make life easier with a lovely toiletries kit in hospital when you awake from your op. They pay for cleaners and ironing when you come out of hospital. Help with childcare, Flights to UK and back during radiotherapy to enable you to see the kids. Wigs and so much more.

This year I’ve been busy with my Friends, we did a spinathon at the gym my best friend and I instruct and raised a few thousand pounds. A calendar for 2016 like the calendar girls did. Ive been ring girl for the boxing gym I train at in the middle of my chemo . I still wear my wigs daily because I’ve always had long hair and it’s still only a couple of inches long . If I walk past a window or mirror and spot myself it reminds me cancer cancer so with my wigs on I feel like me normal and no one knows . I get told constantly I look really well.

I believe in being positive and I have three boys to look after. Breast cancer took my mum Christmas day 1999 age 51y and my dad to pancreatic cancer Dec 10th 1990 age 56y so I’m so determined it’s not having me as well! So I need to be as normal and positive as I can for my boys . I still have a way to go but I’m getting there …..

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*Susie has a huge heart of gold, despite only being only two weeks post op, with her possitive mental attitide to life and determination, she is already organising the next charity event. She is an amazing lady -*

Brandon Hazlewood Hamon said: Just the fact that you have a massive smile on your face brings the picture to a whole new level! I’m so so proud of you mum. When you found out you didn’t just stop everything! You carried on the way you were and you started fighting and remained strong! You’ve had so much support and help from so many people and I want to thank everyone that’s been here and still is for you. It was hard seeing you lose your hair but I got use to it very quickly and stayed positive!

You become the strongest women I ever know and beat cancers ass! That day made me and loads more other people so happy! It was such great news! Although you have more operations to come and your reconstruction, it’s good to know that it’s gone and hopefully won’t come back! You don’t deserve it at all! I love this picture so much! I love you so much mum and remember to keep strong! And never give up!• 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roger Nield MBE
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 17:30:51

    awesome blog and very well worth the read.

    Reply

  2. Roger Nield MBE
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 17:32:08

    Reblogged this on Simple Things and commented:
    What a very strong blog – thank you.

    Reply

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