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How A Newlywed Mom's Hug With Her Toddler Son Led To Her Life-Saving Discovery Of Cancerous Lump

How A Newlywed Mom's Hug With Her Toddler Son Led To Her Life-Saving Discovery Of Cancerous Lump
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A young mom has told how a hug with her son saved her life, after a lump she spotted during the cuddle turned out to be breast cancer.

Newly married to her husband AJ, 35, a few months earlier, Emily Makin, 28, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, was feeling on top of the world – not to mention at her physical peak, after joining a slimming club and taking up running.

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But, her happy bubble burst in July 2018 when, as she lifted her arms to cuddle her son Harrison, three, she noticed a lump towards the top of her right breast and test results confirmed she had triple negative breast cancer – a rare form of the disease.
Determined to do all she could to survive and be there for her family, Emily, who had a mastectomy the same month, removing her right breast and the 4.5cm tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, recalled the day of her diagnosis, saying: "Usually, I can talk for Britain, but in the car on the way to hospital, I was silent.

"A doctor and nurse came to see me and I remember seeing a breast cancer leaflet in the nurse's pocket and realizing what was coming.

"Once they told me, I just wanted to go somewhere and scream to let it all out. I was very angry, very, 'why me?' But then, once that passed, I realized I had to fight."

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Full-time mom Emily, who also has another son Freddie, two, and whose husband AJ works for an energy supplier, told how, leading up to her diagnosis, she saw no signs of what was to come.

Instead, she was feeling fitter and healthier than she had in years.

But everything changed on that July day last year, when she noticed a worrying lump in her right breast.

She explained: "I lifted my arms up to hug my son and spotted it. I'd just come off my period, so at first thought it could be hormonal and connected to that.

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"But it nagged at me. It wasn't something I wanted to leave, so I made an emergency doctor's appointment a couple of days later."

Referred right away to a breast clinic, Emily had a string of tests, including an ultrasound, mammogram and core biopsy – where a needle is passed through the skin to take a tissue sample from a mass or lump.

She added: "It was at the point of the mammogram that my mind started to go, 'This isn't good.' I knew something serious was going on."

Around a week later, Emily was called back in for the results, which sadly confirmed her worst fears.

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She continued: "I can't fault the doctor, he was absolutely lovely. He sat me down, looked me in the eye and said, 'I'm really sorry, but it's breast cancer.'"

She continued: "The tears then just started streaming down my face. All I wanted was to get home with AJ and the boys and lock myself away from the world.

"There was lots of talk about what it all meant and what would happen next, but I couldn't process anything. All I'd heard was the word cancer."

Later that month, on 19 July, Emily had her first bout of treatment – a single mastectomy, which took place at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.

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She said: "That was an easy decision for me to make. I was adamant I wanted it, as I just wanted the cancer to be gone and to feel like I was getting better.

"I wasn't attached to my breasts. They'd done their job, fed my kids – I didn't need them. I knew AJ wouldn't care what I looked like either. He's very good and supportive like that."

From there, Emily had chemotherapy, lasting from September to December.

Keen to take back a little control, she decided to shave her head rather than wait for her blonde locks to fall out as a result of the treatment.

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"It was the one thing I had control over. Cancer wasn't taking that from me too," she said. "First, I shaved half of it and dyed it pink, then I went for a purple mohawk before finally being a green skinhead.

"I made sure the boys got involved. Along with AJ, they all helped me shave so it wasn't such a shock seeing me without hair."
She continued: "I'd actually always wanted to have bright, funky hair, but had worried about what people would say. Going through what I was, though, I figured people could look and judge all they wanted. If I wanted bright pink hair, I'd have it.
"There was so much going on that it was really important to me to hold on to those little moments of positivity.

After finishing chemotherapy on 28 December, Emily then had radiotherapy from January up until 18 February, to ensure all cancerous cells had gone.

No longer receiving any treatment, she is now awaiting a mammogram to determine whether or not she is in remission.
Emily, who has blogged throughout her journey to shed light on the reality of cancer and challenge stereotypes, is currently gearing up to run the Race For Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK and celebrate finishing her treatment.
She is even the VIP starter for the 5km race at Haigh Woodland Park in Wigan on May 22, and will be appearing on stage beforehand to share her story with the crowd.

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She said: "I would run all the time before my diagnosis threw me into a whirlwind, and was really keen to get back to it, so I started a couch to 5km program a week after finishing chemotherapy.

"I'm really looking forward to Race For Life and to telling my personal story.

"I don't want people to be paranoid, but rather to be aware of changes in their bodies and how to check themselves for lumps."
She added: "I never thought this would happen to me, particularly so young, so I hope my story can help others."

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Emily is supporting Race for Life in partnership with Tesco. Join your local event at and make a difference in beating cancer.