12:30PM, Friday 27 April 2018
A 34-year-old woman has turned her recovery from breast cancer into an empowering story of love, mental health and the ups and downs of pregnancy after cancer.
Annie Belasco, 34 was diagnosed with the disease when she was 25 after finding a lump in her breast, at a time when she lived quite a ‘self-indulgent life style’.
It turned out the tumour was quite aggressive, which meant it was spreading fast, and Annie underwent a mastectomy.
Which is the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.
A year later, despite being told it was ‘very likely’ she could not conceive, Annie was pregnant.
Postnatal anxiety combined with her scare with cancer meant Annie’s mental health suffered.
Annie is determined to inspire and encourage an open conversation around mental health, and reduce the stigma so that people can begin to recover from traumatic experiences.
She said: “It’s help and advice for someone going through the same thing.
“Writing the book was like therapy for me, as after five years of actual therapy I couldn't keep on doing that anymore.”
Annie says she had never found a relationship until she was ill with cancer and the diagnosis made her realise that there is more to life than possessions and material things.
It was then she started internet dating and met her husband, Sam, 31, who is a soldier in the Household Cavalry Mounted regiment at Combermere Barracks.
Now the couple live in Windsor with their two children, Joseph, four, and Roe, one.
“Lots of young girls, who especially these days, aspire to be reality tv stars as I did.
“I think my experience shows that your mental health is as important as your physical health if not more so.
“But it shows how things can wrong, so it’s about learning to love yourself and living a more healthy lifestyle”, added Annie.
Annie is now a full time speaker and writer on prenatal mental health.
her book, Love and Remission, will be released in June 2018 with Trigger Press which is available now to pre-order at https://www.anniebelasco.co.uk/
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