`I feel that whatever happened, it is just meant for me'
by MARY MAGEE
Elaine Frazer with her mum
Elaine with her family.
Elaine today - getting ready to trek the Sahara
A LOCAL breast cancer survivor is set to trek across the Sahara desert to raise money for Macmillan cancer charity.
Elaine Frazer (42), who was diagnosed two years ago, is preparing to walk 100km across a sea of sand next February to raise much needed funds.
It will be the latest, and most challenging step Elaine has taken since getting the all clear after being diagnosed on 09/09/09. In fact she had first noticed a lump in May of that year but it took her some months to go to the doctor in the hope the lump would just go away.
It was only when she saw GP a few months later about something else that she expressed her concerns.
An appointment was made at the City Hospital and she went with her husband Michael for a biopsy. She didn't want to wait for the results and told Michael they could go on and the results would be phoned through later.
But he persuaded her to stay. When tbe doctor came out and told her be would try and get an empty room to talk to the couple Elaine knew something was not right.
"I knew things were not good," she said. "I told my husband when I saw a doctor and nurse following us in."
The doctor's first words to her were: "I think you know what I am going to tell you."
"The only thing I can remember thinking as be explained what was wrong was bow am I going to tell Anthony, my 13 year old son," she said.
The couple were left to take in the news and at first were afraid of telling Elaine's mother who bad dropped them off and was coming back to pick them up.
We both agreed we didn't want to upset her so we rang her and said that it was such a lovely day that we were going to make our own way home and get the bus. I tried to sound upbeat," said Elaine.
"We didn't want her to drive all the way through the heavy traffic and then we would have to tell her that sort of news."
When the pair got home they broke the news to their mothers.
"I rang my mum but had to reassure her that everything was going to be all right," said Elaine. "She just started to cry when I told her.
"We agreed not to tell our son until after the operation and when we knew what was happening after that."
Elaine was told she had a grade three cancer and had the lump from her right breast and her lymph nodes removed. She then bad eight bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
"I never really believed it, it was quite a shock to be told you had cancer," she said. "You always bear of someone else having it. Not me. No-one else it the family even has it. You never expected it to come to your door."
After the operation her son took her into the conservatory of Elaine's mums house and said he wanted to know the truth about what was wrong with her. He told her be knew that she was sick and that he bad goggled the symptoms and got breast cancer as the answer.
"I told him 'yes' I had," said Elaine. "I assured him that everything was going to be all right."
Since she has had the all clear Elaine has done the Race for Life at Stormont and tbe Moonlight Walk earlier this year.
"I wanted to do something different to raise money for Macmillan." said Elaine. "They really helped me a great deal during my ordeal. When I heard about the Sahara trip I paid for it and booked it and then told my husband what I planned to do. He couldn't believe it."
She already has paid £250 and then needs to raise a further £2,500. She has already held a coffee morning at St Patrick's Pastoral Centre and has written to a number of businesses asking for donations.
Elaine follows a strict training guide and walks up to eight miles a day. She hopes to build herself up to do an eight hour walk in one day before she goes in February.
"At least it's good for the two dogs," she laughed.
"I just feel that whatever has happened it is just meant to me. I would never have done anytbing like this if it were not for breast cancer."
Elaine urges anyone who bas a lump to get it checked out straight away.
"No matter what you need to get it checked and go and see your doctor," she said. Anyone who would like to donate can go to www.justgiving.com/elaine_jordan_frazer.