When Paul Gallagher’s wife Marie died from breast cancer in 2007, he had to raise their three daughters, Amy, Kate and Sophie on his own. At the time of Marie’s initial diagnosis in 2002, the girls were just 13, 10 and 6. In this episode of More Than A Lump, Paul and his middle daughter Kate join Aisling to talk about their beloved Marie and to reflect on the past twenty years, the low points and the high points, and in particular the birth recently of his first grandchild, Kate’s niece and Amy’s daughter, Ruby Marie. This is a story of loss and bereavement but it is also a story of resilience, hope and getting on with things for the sake of the people you love. If you think you might find the topic of loss and bereavement too upsetting, you may wish to skip this episode.
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Back in Season 1, Paula McClean joined Aisling to tell her story about being diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Breast Cancer at the age of 42. Paula returns to guest-host this episode and to pick up on a topic that was referenced in the earlier episode, that of the psychological and emotional scars that remain when the initial treatment is over. Paula is joined by Mayo native, Lisa Convey and Cork native , Lynne Buckley, both fellow breast cancer survivors who have travelled a similar road.
Lisa first met Paula almost ten years ago at a Breast Cancer Ireland photocall but admits she felt vulnerable at that time. Today, Lisa feels stronger and ready to tell her emotional story.
Lynne was diagnosed while she was pregnant with her son Adam in 2017 and she too has a powerful and a very personal story to share. This episode of More Than A Lump is a raw and honest conversation between three amazing women who have shared experiences that those who have not been diagnosed simply cannot imagine. We hope you find it helpful.
To mark World Cancer Day on 4 th February, Breast Cancer Ireland has announced it’s funding of The Orla Byrne PHD Scholarship, awarded to student Louise Watson at RCSI – a four-year study into understanding key regulatory networks in breast cancer brain metastases.
Rachel McKenna is living with cancer. In this episode, she takes Aisling through her story, from those early signs during her pregnancy, though to the birth of her beautiful son, Elijah, born in October 2020, which has brought Rachel and her fiancé, Aidan such great joy, and on to the day she was told her cancer was inoperable. Rachel is the face of Breast Cancer Ireland’s recently launched, #MetastaticMatters campaign, which aims to highlight the symptoms of metastatic disease to be aware of, and also to increase understanding of how and why this occurs. This is a positive, uplifting and empowering episode delivered by a beautiful and powerful woman.
Talking about relationships and intimacy after a breast cancer diagnosis can be difficult, especially if you have a decreased libido, if sex is painful or if you’re feeling uncomfortable about changes in your body. In this episode of More Than A Lump, we invited along psychotherapist and psychosocial oncologist, Yvonne O’Meara who works therapeutically with people when illness has entered their lives, to discuss the importance of talking about our feelings. Keeping these feelings from each other can make it difficult for couples to give each other comfort and support. Yvonne, who has a special interest in psychosexual distress, infertility, and anticipatory grief is joined by Breast Cancer Ireland Patient Ambassador and local councellor, Teresa Costello to talk about the impact of a diagnosis on relationships, dating and intimacy. Broadcaster and good friend to the charity, Clare McKenna stepped in for Aisling to host this episode.