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Brave mum recovering after having both breasts removed
LOUISE Preece, who has had both her breasts removed to reduce her chances of getting cancer, has told how she was too frightened to look at her scars in the days following her operation.
Mrs Preece, 40, from Grove, underwent a 14-hour preventative double mastectomy at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, last Tuesday.
Her decision to have her breasts removed came after her mother, Linda Clark, 65, from Wantage, battled ovarian cancer, a brain tumour and most recently breast cancer, which has spread to her bones, spine and liver.
Mrs Preece, who was advised to take ‘preventative measures’ by geneticists, hopes the radical surgery will reduce her own chance of developing cancer from 80 to eight per cent.
Speaking from her hospital room shortly before she was discharged, she said: “It has been a very emotional week.
“I was awake at 5am on the morning of my op and went down to theatre at eight.
“When I came around from the operation I was very tearful and immediately thought: ‘What have I done?’ “But then I started to feel more positive. It was done, all over and since then I have had a sense of having done something that could save my life.”
Mrs Preece, chairman of Wantage Air Cadets, has already undergone surgery to have both her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce her chances of developing cancer.
She added: “I was extremely nervous about looking at my body after the mastectomy.
“The nurses looking after me would change my dressings and say it all looked beautiful, but I was too frightened to look at myself for a while, and when I did it was all very strange.
“But this is my body now and doing this has hopefully saved my life.”
Following surgery, skin and fat from Mrs Preece’s stomach were used to build-up the depleted breast area and there will be further reconstructive surgery in the coming months.
She added: “My mum and dad came in soon after my op and my mum just cuddled me, which was extremely emotional for both of us, as she has been told her own cancer is inoperable.
“My son Steven, who is 16, has also been coming in straight from his job as an apprentice at BMW and although I feel extremely sad that I can’t do anything to stop my mum’s cancer, I look at my son and hope this will mean I will get to stay with him as he gets older.”
Mrs Preece now faces about three months off her job managing the accounts for the clubhouse at Carswell Golf Course near Faringdon.
She said: “I will return to hospital in four weeks to see what happens next, but in the meantime I will be recovering before eventually returning to work and back to the cadets.
“The care at the JR has been amazing, but I am very much looking forward to being at home again now with Steven, my husband Peter (44) and my mum and dad – and looking to the future.”
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