Louise and her partner Les McKee had packed their lives in boxes and were ready to move to Ibiza when Louise received the severe blow that she had breast cancer and had to start treatment immediately.
When Louise Atkinson left her job and home in Liverpool to start a new life in the sun, she never expected the life-changing news to put her plans on hold.
Louise Atkinson packed her life for Ibiza when she received the devastating news days before the move
“Because we were moving away, I had had a tooth pulled and I had already been to my doctor for anxiety, which she attributed to this big move, but I also had dimples in my skin on my chest and I knew something was just not right.
Louise, who now lives with her mother in Netherton, told Echo: “Some time ago I found a lump in my right breast that kept appearing and disappearing, but I thought it was just my hormones.
The 36-year-old said: “Les and I looked at the Euros in France and then flew to Ibiza to meet with real estate agents and start looking for an apartment.
So Louise’s doctor referred her to the Marina Dalglish Centre at Fazakerley Hospital to send her in for a “peace of mind scan”.
“Hearing those words was just devastating. Ten minutes later I got a mammogram and then a biopsy of my breast and armpit – and all within two hours, they were fantastic, but then they called me into the doctor’s office.
“My appointment was two weeks later, the day after we returned. I had an ultrasound examination of my breast and they found a 2 cm lump. When they examined my armpit, they said that there was also something in the lump.
Louise was then told that what they had found was “very worrying and that they had to prepare for the worst”.
“I had to go home and tell Les and the rest of my family. I cried that first day, but the next day I woke up thinking they told me to prepare for the worst and I will, so I just started researching breast cancer.
She said, “I felt like I was sentenced to death. I was absolutely devastated, it was the fear of the unknown, and since they did not have the results yet, the worst thing for me was death.
Louise had to wait a week to receive her diagnosis and returned to her workplace at Lloyds Bank in Speke, where she and Les, 36, both work in the financial services sector.
“I went back to work the next day, and people said to me, ‘Why are you working?’ But I didn’t want to sit at home and cry.
“A few weeks ago I couldn’t even say the word ‘cancer’, I was so afraid of it, but not anymore, because the more you know about it, the more power you have over what happens to you.