Brave mum who had a double mastectomy says she is now 'looking forward to a future free from the threat of cancer’

Herald Series: Louise Preece had her healthy breasts removed in October to reduce her chances of hereditary cancer Louise Preece had her healthy breasts removed in October to reduce her chances of hereditary cancer

THREE months ago tomorrow Louise Preece had a gruelling 14-hour operation to reduce her chances of getting cancer.

Now, while she still coming to terms with the irreversible changes to her body, she is finally looking forward to a new year without the ‘black cloud’ of the disease hanging over her.

Mrs Preece, 40, from Grove, near Wantage, had a double mastectomy at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital on October 1, to reduce her chances of developing cancer from 80, to just eight per cent.

The accountant and mother-of-one had already undergone surgery to have both her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, but was advised to take further preventative action by geneticists after her own mother, Linda Clark, 65, from Wantage, battled ovarian cancer, then a brain tumour and now breast cancer, which has spread to her bones, spine and liver.

Mrs Preece said: “Since the operation things have been very emotional and I have had some very low days.

“In the early weeks I was very weak and felt pretty hopeless.

“I had gone into hospital perfectly healthy and came out unable to even dress myself.

“I had to rely on my husband Peter, 44, to help me do everything and that was difficult. But he and my son Steven, 16, have been wonderful.”

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Two weeks after the operation Mrs Preece went back to hospital to have her dressings removed.

She said: “My surgeon is pleased the operation went well though and I am to go back in two months to talk about further reconstruction.

“It will take time to get used to the changes, but despite everything I still feel very positive, and that I am going into 2014, finally, without cancer threatening me.”

Mrs Preece also revealed that her operation has been partly responsible for finding her an “exciting” new role.

She said: “I will be returning to my role in accounting for Carswell Golf Club clubhouse, but I am also very excited because I have been accepted as a Slimming World representative.

“A year before my operation I was so stressed by the threat of cancer that my weight increased dramatically and my doctor advised me that, if I could lose weight, it would help a lot in my recovery.

“He referred me to Slimming World and with their help I lost just over two stones in the run-up to the surgery and since then I have lost another half a stone to take me to my goal weight.”

While Mrs Preece is looking forward to a healthier future, she says her mother’s health is continuing to deteriorate.

She said: “The chemotherapy drugs she is taking sometimes stop working and she is really struggling with her mobility.

“But I know my mum is happy I had the surgery and I am so proud of how hard she continues to battle against her cancer.”

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