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Jacquie Beltrao - Video 1

Jacquie discusses her initial breast cancer diagnosis

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For those who are unable to view the video, prefer to read, or who have difficulties in hearing, this is a transcription of the interview

Video 1 - Looking Back - The Diagnosis

Jacquie discusses her initial breast cancer diagnosis

Lucinda: Well obviously it's a very serious subject, and at the same time I have got to know you, so what was it like being diagnosed first with the cancer itself, and then you had a whole new situation where you had originally not thought you'd have to have chemo and then you knew that you would have to have chemo and that you would more than likely lose all your hair. How did that feel in the mix of all of your life?

Jacquie: Well both things are really shocking, I got diagnosed with breast cancer on Christmas Eve, and I felt a lump so I knew something was wrong; but they said it's early, it's probably a grade 2, and we went through the whole rigmarole of having the mastectomy and all the rest of it, and I thought I'd got off scot-free because as far as I was concerned they could fix the cancer and if I didn't need chemo that would be amazing because that would mean I'd keep my hair and it was almost like a new me.

Then comes the bombshell about three weeks later, saying actually, you know what, just as a precaution, I think you should do the chemo, and that was in a way so much worse, because you know when you do chemo, especialy breast cancer chemo, you are going to lose your hair, that is 100% almost for everybody across the board. And that was just devastating, and I cried and cried and cried, and I remember exactly where I was, I was on a skiing holiday with my family, we were on the top of a mountain, they'd gone off and I was sitting there holding the phone, just crying at my mobile phone, thinking "I can't do this, I really can't do this". But you have to, and you do, and then I remember thinking, "there's got to be a way I don't have to wear a wig, I really don't want to wear a wig", you know..

Lucinda: Did you try them?

Jacquie: I went to the hospital and I bought one - quite a nice one - and when the chemo started I thought I'll just try it on for a day and see how I go, and it was really itchy, it kind of hurt round my ears, and I was walking the dog, and then I went shopping and I changed my jumper and the wig came off, and I was like, Aww no I can't...

And I'm a television presenter, so I'm at front-of-house as my doctor says, and I just needed something I could feel very confident with and I just wasn't confident with this wig, it was almost going to be better not to have anything at all. So I was on the internet searching searching, and I just happened to say to the lady at the hospital who was selling the wigs - there must be a permanent solution where they can somehow permanently attach the hair to your head, there's just got to be, there has to be in this day and age, and she said "Oh yeah, you need to go to Lucinda Ellery" and I went "well who's that" and she said "well she's the best, you just need to go to her" and I said "well will she sort it?", "yes, she'll sort it".

So I said well I'll buy the wig anyway and then I'll go and see Lucinda, and that's when I dropped into your office.