I had a photoshoot on the second anniversary of my cancer diagnosis

Wallasey mum Kathy Furlong smiles for the camera after Maggie’s Merseyside helped her to live again

Maggies Merseyside at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Bebington. Pictured: Kathy Furlong who has been using the centre.

Mum-of-two Kathy Furlong, from Wallasey, is no stranger to Maggie’s.

Kathy, 41, had discovered a lump only days before she was told she had breast cancer.

“I woke up in the morning and felt an ache, like when you have a bruise,” she says. “But I touched my right breast and felt a lump.

“It was 7.50am and I phoned my mum, who told me to get onto my GP, and by 10.30am I was in the surgery.”

The next day, Kathy went for tests at Clatterbridge Hospital and cancer was confirmed. She had a lumpectomy five days before her 40th birthday, on April 15.

“And they say life begins at 40,” smiles Cathy. “I suppose it did for me, or a new life at least.”

It was on the first day of chemo at Clatterbridge that Kathy learned about Maggie’s, after spotting a leaflet on a table.

“As soon as we walked in, we got a smile from Kathy and Kelly and I started talking to them. They never once asked me why I was there, we just chatted over a cup of tea.

“During my treatment, I would pop in, but it was when my treatment finished that Maggie’s came into its own. When the doctors say ‘right, that’s it now, see you in a year’, you think, what now?

“Maggie’s had a course you can do once you’ve gone through treatment called ‘Where Now?’ because cancer changes your perspective on life and, just because the treatment stops, it doesn’t mean the questions do.

“There was a group of women on the course who all had the same fears and questions as I did.

“I learned how to come to terms with everything and move forward, and I could talk to these women about things I didn’t want to worry my family with.“

Ian Cooper
Maggies Merseyside at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Bebington. Pictured: Kathy Furlong with her husband Mark and daughters Kayleigh and Sarah.

She goes on: “I can go now to just sit and have a cuppa and a chat and know that there will always be someone there I know, it’s amazing.

“Last year, we helped fundraise for Maggie’s. I did the Wirral Coastal Walk with my mum and my husband, Mark, and I did Maggie’s Cultural Crawl, in London. It is such a wonderful place.

“And it’s not just the people with cancer they help, it’s those around them in emotional and practical ways. They asked if I needed help with the girls and when we were doubled up on appointments, they had one changed. Simple but important things like that.

“My family is supportive and fantastic, but Maggie’s is a haven. It has helped me live again because there is no point your life being saved if you’re too scared to live it.

“Since having cancer, Mark and I have renewed our wedding vows and we are making the most of life. Maggie’s helped me to do that.”


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