Hepin* had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer late in 2014, before going on to have surgery. Her treatment was initially successful, and for a number of years she led an active lifestyle.
But in May 2018 she started to notice a change. ‘I was feeling more tired than usual – yawning and flagging easily,’ she explains.
After undergoing further tests, she received the news: the cancer had returned, this time spreading to lymph nodes in her armpit. She went through more treatment – this time having chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
‘A few months later, we went for a scan and it wasn’t good news,’ she says. Doctors told her that images showed possible disease in other parts of her body.
‘Obviously this was devastating to hear,’ she says. ‘But we were keen to get another opinion, to make sure this was the case, and to check what my treatment plan should be.’
Hepin and her husband looked to international centres for expert advice, before choosing The Royal Marsden. ‘I’d heard it was one of the world leading institutions treating breast cancer.’ she explains.
When she arrived at The Royal Marsden Hepin said she immediately noticed the calming atmosphere. ‘It was serene and quiet – it felt homely and not as busy as some of the hospitals we have at home.’ she explains.
After undergoing an MRI scan, her consultant Professor Stephen confirmed the good news; she wouldn’t need any further treatment for now, but should keep having regular checks to monitor her health.
‘Overall we were very pleased with our experience at The Royal Marsden,’ Hepin says. ‘They made us feel welcomed and comfortable and all the staff were so accommodating. The translation service provided was also of great help for us.’
*Not her real name
It was serene and quiet – it felt homely and not as busy as some of the hospitals we have at home.