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Trigger Warning : Breast Cancer
On Friday 13th October 2017, at the age of 31, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer which had also spread to my lymphnodes. I had discovered a lump a few weeks previously while on a family holiday with my husband and our children who were just 5 months-old and 3 years-old; a twinging pain in my breast led me to check and thankfully I did.
To cut a very long story short(ish) I have since faced 3 months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, radiotherapy, a delayed diagnosis for having the BRCA2 gene (a familial gene which significantly increases ones risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer in their lifetime), a second preventative mastectomy, double reconstruction, an oopherectomy (removal of my ovaries).
I am now on a concoction of ongoing daily medication with one of the drugs causing ostopenia, degradation of bone density.
It's fair to say that breast cancer has had a massive impact on mine and my family's lives and so I have been keen to raise as much awareness of the disease wherever possible. Just last month I completed a 100k charity trek with 100 ladies and gents along with Giovanna Fletcher, Emma Willis and other celebrity friends raising close to £400,000 between us.
Upon returning from my trek I decided to formalise something which I've done for some time now, putting together care packages for those recently diagnosed or due to embark on treatment, and so Practically Perfect Packages was born. Having been through so many different treatments and ongoing side effects I know exactly which products have helped me from a practical point of view but still offered some joy too and so the person sending the package can be confident that their loved one will be well-catered for.
I have created a few packages with different circumstances in mind but the beauty is that they can be sent as a general 'sending you love' or 'thinking of you too', with products such as cooling foot sprays (hospital stays wreak havoc on restless feet and legs!) or lip juicers for a touch of colour to brighten your day but also hydrate them on a warm, dry hospital ward.
Each box sold results in a donation to coppafeel and includes a personalised note explaining why each product has been chosen, links to useful charities as well as exclusive discount codes from various small businesses who have kindly collaborated.