Top Tips: Curated support and resources

Sadie’s Story

Sadie, 49, lives in Brisley, Norfolk. She initially discovered a lump in her breast in February 2019. After seeking medical advice, she had a scan and biopsy and was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.

Everything moved very fast. Sadie was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital; her chemotherapy treatment started within two or three weeks of her diagnosis, and she received six sessions in total. In June/July, she underwent a double mastectomy, then 15 cycles of radiotherapy in September/October and reconstructive surgery which started in November. Currently, Sadie has the all-clear and is being monitored.

She received her Little Lifts Box during chemotherapy after her second treatment. Rather than opening it in the hospital, she took it home and waited until her daughters got home from school to open it. For once, the time after the appointment wasn’t just filled with worry – there was excitement and anticipation, too. When the family opened it together, they were delighted: ‘Everything in the Box was fab. It gave you a little lift and you feel like someone is on your side thinking of you’. 

After surgery Sadie experienced dry skin, which the moisturiser was perfect for soothing. She also lost her taste during chemotherapy treatment, and the cordial and chilli flakes really helped with that. Sadie really appreciated that the Box had been put together by people who had experienced cancer treatment: ‘All the items are so natural you don’t have to worry about things or research them. So thoughtful … it was more than just a Box – Little Lifts is very personal, their door is always open’.

As well as all the practical support she received, Sadie says that being around people affected by cancer, and volunteering, have helped her to cope and recover, as has her supportive family. She recommends other people experiencing cancer treatment ask their children if they have questions before your appointments, to open the opportunity for them to talk about their worries. Sadie also recommends talking to other people who have been through chemotherapy, and advocating for yourself when you are able to: ‘It’s your body – you can ask for what you want.’