A Preston woman was days away from giving birth when found out that she had breast cancer.

Susan Jackson, 39, was 35 weeks pregnant in July 2017, when she was given her diagnosis before giving birth to her daughter, Elsie, just five days later.

She then returned to hospital and underwent major surgery on her breast. Little did she know that this was only the start of two years of scans, treatment, chemotherapy and even a brain tumour diagnosis.

Susan says that the news of her breast cancer two years ago was extremely hard to take.

"I don't think there is a word to reproduce how I felt," Susan told LancsLive.

"It was a shock to the system is the politest way to put it, it was all so quick, I didn't think about me I just thought about how the kids would feel and my husband (Grant, 42) would cope.

"I find it easier to think about everybody else, it is easier to deal with their emotions than my own."

Susan went to the doctors in July 2017 with some pain in her breast.

She had breast fed her other two children, Grace and Evie, and just thought she was experiencing some normal pain.

The doctors found a lump and sent her to have a biopsy and mammogram on July 4. It was then that she was given the devastating news.

 

Susan said: "They knew straight away, they did the tests and the mammogram and they told me the lump was cancerous.

"I had gone from nothing to a four-and-a-half inch breast tumour.

"On the way home from the appointment we had to sort everything for the baby. My eldest also had a remembrance concert at her school that day, she used to sit next to one of the Manchester bomb victims in Maths.

"So we had to keep a straight face, that was quite a hard day."

The couple had to explain to their children that Susan would have to give birth early before preparing themselves for Elsie's arrival.

She was born five days later and the couple then had to give their children more bad news.

"We told them that we had found a lump," said Susan.

"And then I was back in the hospital for surgery. It's hard, I want the kids to know things, it is important that they get some information.

"But I don't want them to know too much."

The surgery was only a partial success and Susan underwent round of chemotherapy as well as 22 sessions of radiotherapy.

After several struggles with more treatment throughout 2018 things were looking up. But in October, the Jacksons were given more bad news.

Susan said: "I found out I had a brain tumour.

"I went in for IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy), basically intense radiotherapy, it was explained to me that if we had the treatment over the whole brain it would kill me.

"Unfortunately I was told it hadn't quite worked."

Susan spent the next year with swelling on the brain, caused by the radiotherapy treatment, as well as deep vein thrombosis in her lungs.

The 39-year-old also started to experience serious headaches.

"I would get one whenever I put my body under any pressure," said Susan.

"I would get one when I held my breath or when I bent down to pick up my two-year-old.

"It was so strong, almost like a black out sensation."

In November she was told that her tumour had grown again and that surgery was her only option.

She underwent surgery to remove the tumour on November 9, 2019, and is currently recovering at home.

The surgery was so intense that the mum of three can hardly move and is totally bed ridden for at least ten weeks.

She said: " I do struggle, typical me I don't do as I'm told and I don't sit still.

"I can't really move, I have very limited movement at the moment and I feel like my head is a vice.

"It's quite difficult at the moment, I'm finding it very hard not being myself. I used to be very active, getting on my bike and walking with the kids.

"I am the sort of person that just gets on with things and I will just have to get on with it."

Susan's sister, Angie Bryan, 59 is looking after the mum-of-three.

She admires her younger sister's strength and says that Susan continues to amaze her each day.

"She's unbelievable," Angie told LancsLive.

"We don't know where she gets her inner strength from, her inner fortitude, she's amazing.

"After getting the bad news the first time and the second time she just cracks on.

"She thinks about her children first you see and not herself."

Paul Morris, Susan's older brother, is attempting 30 half-marathons to raise money to send the family on holiday. You can donate here.