Julie Cowell passed away on 5 July 2015. She was a supporter of Against Breast Cancer for 20 years and became our Honorary President in 2009.
This is Julie’s own account of her diagnosis and treatment, the impact it had on her and on those closest to her.
Against Breast Cancer Honorary President Julie Cowell recently shared her breast cancer story with OK! magazine. Extracts of her emotional story published in the 17 May 2011 issue of OK! are reproduced here.
“I was in bed when I first felt a lump. In my heart of hearts I thought it would be okay. My husband told me to go to the doctor straight away, the very next day I did.
I remember I had a funny feeling when the specialist walked in with my results. I could almost feel it. When the doctor told me I had cancer I was scared, shocked and upset. My husband was waiting for me outside in the car. When I saw him, he asked if everything was okay and I told him: No, it’s not actually, I replied, he was more emotional than I was.
I didn’t tell my family straight away. But I did eventually because I felt that I needed my boys to know rather than attempt to cope with everything on my own. Looking back I’m glad I did tell them because I felt their love tremendously.”
Julie had her lump removed and then began eight weeks of daily radiotherapy. “Towards the end of my treatment I felt very tired, but I wasn’t in any way ill. I didn’t feel, oh gosh this is terrible, I went to the hospital on my own because I wanted to. I felt more positive going on my own. Simon would have taken me if I’d asked him to, but the last thing I wanted was for Simon, or any of my boys to take me to the hospital it would have frightened them to death I think!.”
It was scary but I knew I had to keep positive. If you let things like this get you down it can affect your body so I needed to be strong.
After battling the disease for more than a year Julie was finally given the all-clear by doctors. “I felt 10 years younger” she says, recalling the day she was given the all clear. “Having something wrong with you can teach you a lot in life. Simon and the boys get checked regularly now and that’s just so important. I’m glad my experience had that impact on them.
I’m honorary president of Against Breast Cancer, as I’ve been through it and come out the other end, I think that makes people listen. I asked Simon to get involved as his name just helps to raise awareness. He was brilliant when I asked him. I’m so proud of the work he’s done for the charity.
I don’t think about the cancer coming back because anything can happen to me. I could walk outside and get knocked down by a car but that won’t stop me from going out!”
Reproduced with courtesy of OK! Magazine
Read more about Julie Cowell, Honorary President of Against Breast Cancer, 2009 – 2015