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Young Donegal mother talks candidly about cancer experience

‘I stopped worrying about silly things,’ she says

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Young Donegal mother talks candidly about cancer experience

Roseann Ní Ghallachóir with her daughter Niamh.

Roseann Ní Ghallachóir, a young Donegal mother diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, spoke on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this past week about her experience, and how it taught her that she is far stronger than she believed.

Roseann, from Rann na Feirste, was 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the candid interview with Michelle Nic Grianna on Barrscéalta on RnaG, Roseann told Michelle how she reacted when her hair began falling out due to the treatment.

“About three weeks into the chemo, I was in Sligo for a bone scan and I was walking through Penneys. I ran my hand through my hair and a big lump of it came out. This is it now, I thought. So on the way home from the hospital I phoned the hairdresser and got an appointment for the next day. I went down and shaved off the lot. I was crying, but we had a good laugh that day too.”

“I had cancer, I was going to lose my hair, it was going to happen, so what was the point of crying about it? I always wondered what I’d be like with short hair, now I had a chance to see!”

Roseann said that she always kept a positive mental attitude, which helped her greatly.

“I said to myself, this is not going to beat me. I always thought of the people going through much worse than me, and that’s how I looked at it. There were difficult times when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it (the treatment) has passed quickly. I’m nearly there now, and I’m still here.”

She said that she met a lot of other young women with breast cancer during her treatment, and that they are a great support to each other. She also said that the experience has changed her profoundly.

“I stopped worrying about silly things. The children are the most important thing in my life, and as long as they’re ok everything’s ok. It has taught me that I’m a lot stronger than I realised. Until you are in the midst of fighting cancer, you don’t know how strong you are. Everyone has that strength in them, though people don’t realise it.”

“I’d say to people to check themselves. When I found the lump, I spent a day and a night thinking about it before I went to the doctor. I didn’t want to look silly going to the doctor, and for them to tell me it was nothing ... But I’d say to people, don’t waste any time thinking about it. That’s why the doctor is there. If you see any changes at all, go to the doctor.”