As I twirled in front of my bedroom mirror, I admired my new slimmed-down figure.
I’d worked hard to lose a stone and was chuffed that the band on my jeans was feeling a little looser.
But whilst I was made up with my new waistline, I couldn’t help but feel my breasts had become flat and saggy.
I had never been bothered by my 34C chest before, but after shedding the pounds my boobs seemed to have deflated a bit – like popped balloons.
I started covering up in baggy tops and jumpers and became increasingly self-conscious.
And after a while I decided that I wanted a boob job.
‘They’ll really boost my confidence,’ I told my sister.
I started researching different surgeries online and came across exactly what I was after.
I dipped into my savings to book the £4,500 procedure for perky breast implants.
At the consultation beforehand, I decided to go from a C up to an F cup.
When I came around from the procedure in July 2004, at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, I was a bit sore but as pleased as punch with my new chest.
‘You look amazing,’ my then-partner said, when I showed him the results – and I felt it too.
I loved my new boobs and the confidence they gave me.
I wore low-cut tops without a second thought and slipped into sexy lingerie and bikinis on the beach.
In September 2005, I welcomed my son, Edward, and settled into the chaos of parenthood.
But in May 2011, as I hopped in the shower and started washing my body, I noticed a hard lump when I touched my left boob.
‘That doesn’t feel right,’ I said to myself, worried.
Straight away, I booked an appointment with my doctor.
My GP examined my breasts with her hands before she dismissed the lump as a result of my implant.
PIP implants had recently been all over the news and she just put it down to that.
But I’d already had the implants for seven years, so I did think it was strange that the lump would appear all of a sudden because of them.
The doctor seemed so certain though, so I trusted what she said and went back home.
Still I couldn’t get the niggling worry out of my mind.
By May 2012, I noticed the lump had grown considerably bigger.
‘I’m going to get a second opinion,’ I told my family.
The doctor’s reaction was very different this time around and I was immediately sent to the breast clinic at Southend Hospital, Essex, for an ultrasound and a biopsy.
After a three week wait for the results, I was taken aback when they showed I had breast cancer.
I had even gone to the hospital alone – thinking all would be fine.
Devastated, I never thought anything like that would happen to me.
I was terrified and as soon as I heard the ‘C’ word and thought I was going to die.
The results showed that the cancer had already spread to my sentinel lymph node.
I was heartbroken when I was told I would need a mastectomy.
I felt like I’d been given a death sentence and all I could think about was my little boy and how I wanted to be around to see him grow up, get married and have children of his own.
Tearful, I called Edward’s dad, my mum and a few of my closest friends and family to break the news.
But whilst I was reeling from the shock, there was even more surprising news in store.
Incredibly, medics realised that I had been able to discover the tumour in my breast because it was pushed towards the surface by my breast implants.
They told me that without my fake boobs it was likely the lump would have stayed hidden for much longer or I may never have known it was there – which could have proved fatal.
I’d never been more thankful for my new boobs – they saved my life.
I had no family history of cancer and no pain or sensation in my left breast – I’d have been none the wiser if it wasn’t for my boob job.
In July 2012, I underwent a mastectomy of my left breast with reconstructive surgery using a silicone implant taking place at the same time.
Following the op, I returned to hospital every three months for reviews of my breast and appeared to be in recovery from the disease.
But unfortunately, five years after the procedure, I found another lump under my left armpit.
I went straight back to my doctor in June 2017.
A biopsy was taken before a MRI scan and CT scan revealed that the cancer had spread to my armpit, neck and spine.
Shocked, I honestly wasn’t expecting the cancer to ever come back and again.
Like last time, I even went for my results all on my own.
In the five years of thinking I was in the clear, I’d been back to work full time and I’d bought an apartment for Edward and I so that we had a home that we could call ours.
Hearing it had come back was completely devastating – I thought my struggle was over, but here I was battling cancer yet again.
I had five blasts of radiotherapy on my neck which was just awful, it made me feel so sick and it made swallowing really difficult.
They started me on oestrogen blockers to stop the cancer from spreading, but I was having to go to the hospital every month for painful injections in my belly.
I hated the injections, and eventually I opted to have my ovaries removed in March 2018.
It was bitter sweet – as it would be for any woman – but I just couldn’t cope with the injections every month for the rest of my life so it was the better choice for me.
Sadly, my battle against cancer isn’t over as scans last year showed that the cancer has now spread to my femur and liver.
In an attempt to stay as healthy as possible, I now abstain from alcohol and caffeine and follow a strict plant-based keto diet in the hope of stopping the cancer from spreading further.
I have started chemotherapy and I have vowed to stay positive for the sake of my son as I enter the seventh year of my battle against the disease.
Edward knows that I am unwell sometimes, but I’ve never wanted to do one of those chats where I sit him down with his dad and cry over it because I know that would scare him.
He is so inquisitive and loves science.
‘Why are you going to the hospital, mum?’ he asked on one occasion.
I tried to explain to him that there was something bad in my body that the doctor needs to take out – and he accepted that.
Although finding out you have cancer feels like the worst thing that can happen, I feel so much good has come from my diagnosis.
Every day I thank my lucky stars that I had my boob job because without my implants pushing the lump to the surface, who knows where I’d be?
The love and support I have received from friends and family and even strangers has melted my heart.
I feel so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life and I’m not giving up without a fight.