Friends set up fund for Stenhousemuir mum battling cancer for second time
Friends of a new mum battling an aggressive form of cancer for a second time have set up a justgiving page for her and her family.
Jolene Patrick (30) was first diagnosed with a tumour in her breast in September 2017, just before her and husband Alan’s first wedding anniversary.
She was told she had triple negative breast cancer – one of the most aggressive kinds – and had to undergo 18 weeks of chemotherapy as well as a mastectomy and reconstruction.
The type of treament Jolene was given caused her ovaries to stop working which caused her body to go into a menopausal state.
She said: “It was really difficult because as well as battling chemotherapy I was going through this artificial menopause.
“I was told that there was a 60 to 70 per cent chance my periods would return and my fertility could be affected but we weren’t thinking about having a baby at that time, just about beating the cancer.”
Following her treatment, Jolene was given the all clear and, much to her joy, went on to fall pregnant with ‘miracle’ baby Emmeline, who is now eight weeks.
Jolene said: “We weren’t even trying but we felt so blessed as we didn’t know if having a baby was even possible.
“I went on to have a very healthy pregnancy apart from some issues with gestational diabetes which meant Emmeline had to be induced two weeks early but she was a healthy weight at 6lbs 9.5oz.
“I did have some pain in my left side behind the reconstruction during the pregnancy, in the area over my shoulder and under my arm but because I was pregnant I couldn’t get mammograms. I was given lots of extra scans though and felt OK.”
Jolene had also moved house during the latter part of her pregnancy and thought the pain she was feeling could be attributed to that.
She recalls: “After Emmeline was born I was able to breastfeed her but the pain never went away and I had to stop after four weeks.
“I decided to call the breast clinic and was referred to the symptomatic clinic where I was seen quickly and had a biopsy done.”
When Jolene returned to the hospital for her results she was given the devastating news that her cancer had not only returned but had also spread to her chest, pelvis, lymph nodes, liver and bones.
She said: “I was devastated. The thought of going through all I had been through all over again was too much.
“It was such a shock too as I had had such a good pregnancy and having been through cancer I had started enjoying life again.
“You can’t live in fear after all and I didn’t think it could happen again. Also the first time I had no pain unlike this time so the symptoms were different.”
Following her diagnosis Jolene’s friends offered to set up a justgiving page to help raise funds for the family.
“At first I wasn’t keen for that but then I realised I have to to think about Emmeline and Alan.
“People have been so generous already and I am so grateful to my amazing friends for doing this and to everyone who has donated – I can’t thank them enough.
“I also want to thank my husband Alan for his love and support. He is a fantastic husband and father and is my rock.
“We feel so blessed to have Emmeline – she is a fantastic baby. She is so content and happy and sleeps well through the night – she is thriving.”
Jolene’s friend Julie McGregor who set up the justgiving page said: “As friends we feel helpless so we are trying to raise as much money to ease her financial worries at this difficult time.
“We would like to think that if the time came for any one of us we wouldn‘t hesitate to do the same.
“Any contributions will make a difference – thank you in advance.”
To donate to the Justgiving page set up for the Patrick family visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/julie-mcgregor?utm_term=2pG3NZQKk