Inspirational Lynsey Ritchie who threw a party for her boobs before having a double mastectomy has beaten cancer.
The mum-of-four who faced breast cancer head on with incredible humor is now hoping to motivate fundraisers as the voice of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events.
Lynsey, 45, told the Daily Record two years ago how she threw a party for her breasts before having them removed in a double mastectomy operation in December 2019.
The mum-of-four was still breastfeeding her youngest son Odhran, now four, when she went to her GP with a lump under her arm. She had hoped it was a cyst but it turned out to be triple negative breast cancer.
And while Lynsey, who now runs not for profit guided meditation and relaxation sessions in Falkirk, was understandably shocked by the diagnosis she relied on her humor to get her through what could have been a very bleak period of her life.
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After 15 doses of chemotherapy, Lynsey was preparing to have her breasts removed when she decided to throw a “thanks for the mammaries” party in their honor.
She ordered a “boob cake” and invited friends and family to celebrate finishing her chemo and as a thank-you to her breasts for their work in feeding all four of her own children, Odhran, Cailean, 10, Brodie, eight and six- year-old Darragh, as well as many others from her donations to the milk bank.
Lynsey said: “Technically, my boobs have done more good than bad and deserved a proper send-off.”
Lynsey proudly walked into the hospital wearing her own inimitable style of Christmas knitwear – an elf jumper with flesh-coloured boobs adorned with Christmas baubles.
Writing on her blog next to a picture of her wearing it, she wrote: “Tata titties, Bye bye boobies. Let’s do this.”
She kept her jumper on until the last possible moment and a few hours later announced on her Facebook page: “I’m out and they are off.”
After her double mastectomy she had 15 rounds of radiotherapy and is now in remission from the disease.
In a powerfully emotional audio recording, which will be played to competitors in the Race for Life events, Lynsey tells of the vital importance of fundraising for life-saving research to save the lives of people like her.
At the first 5k and 10k runs of the year in South Queensferry and Stirling on Sunday participants will hear her encourage others to take part as she tells her story.
In her recording Lynsey says: “Because of life-saving research my four little boys still have a mummy, my husband still has a wife and my parents still have a daughter and my family and friends still have a wee ray of sunshine in their lives .
“You never think it will be you who hears those words, ‘I’m sorry, it’s cancer’ and when you do your world implodes.
“I can’t describe what it is like inside your head after a diagnosis – it is like a bomb’s gone off resulting in a tsunami of thoughts with explosions of every emotion imaginable going off simultaneously.
“But the one thing I was determined about was that I was going to do everything in my power to be around for my boys.
“Triple negative is unfortunately particularly aggressive cancer and accounts for only 15 per cent of all breast cancers.
“Thankfully Cancer Research UK conduct research into triple negative breast cancer in the UK. I am so grateful that this research has given me a second chance at life.
“I am now thankfully in remission.”
The courageous mum added yesterday (WED): “I am living and loving my best life today thanks to improved treatments and I’d like to help people affected by cancer in the months and years to come.
“I do not, and will not ever, let cancer rule my life but it has changed my life and will forever be a part of my story.
“I feel emotional and very grateful to be here.
“Two years ago I ran the bell to mark the end of active treatment after months of emotional upheaval, fear, panic, self discovery, love and healing. It seems like a lifetime ago and yesterday all at once.
“Early detection is vital. I hope my story will raise awareness and encourage people to visit their doctor if they notice anything about their own bodies which doesn’t feel right.”
Every year around 33,200 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events, in partnership with Tesco, raise millions of pounds every year to fund crucial research.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Lynsey for her support and know that her story will make an impact on participants when played on stage at the beginning of Race for Life.
“Sadly, cancer affects all of us in some way. Whether people are living with cancer, taking part in honor of or in memory of a loved one with cancer or signing up to protect their own children’s future, everyone has a reason to Race for Life.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.