PUBLISHED ON: 11 July 2019

Eve shares how finding her own support networks helped after her diagnosis, and why she’s excited to have her name on a F1 car this summer.

Eve with a headscarf

I had no time to process my diagnosis

After giving birth to my son, I knew that my body had been through a lot of change. When I spotted a lump under my arm, I didn’t think anything of it.

It was quite high up, on the slope of my breast. I assumed it was to do with the milk duct and breastfeeding, but I went to the doctors to check.

They didn’t give me any reason to worry and told me that they would refer me to the breast clinic to be on the safe side. I was so unbothered that I went on my own to the appointment. They took a biopsy and told me to come back in two weeks.

I went back with my husband. We were in the waiting room for a long time. Then a surgeon came out with a breast care nurse. He didn’t bother with small talk and said, ‘We’ve found cancer.’

I had no time to process it. I just sat there and said, ‘OK’ as he told me what we were going to do. As soon as he left the room, I crumbled.

I was worried about my sons

Normally, I’m the strong one in my family. I was worried that they would fall apart. But when I told them the news, they were nothing but supportive.

My sister was concerned that she might also be at risk of breast cancer. I think that’s always part of a diagnosis – it doesn’t just affect you, but those around you too.

I also worried about my sons. Particularly my eldest, as we had only recently relocated to Sheffield. He had a lot to deal with.

He was old enough to understand the word ‘cancer’, but I wasn’t sure if he could handle the nitty gritty. I didn’t want to say something that would freak him out.

What helped me was talking to my friend who was young when her mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She gave me advice on what would have been helpful for her to hear.

Eve and her family

I’m concerned about the impact chemotherapy will have

I had my lumpectomy in February. We initially thought it would just be that, plus radiotherapy. But after the surgery, I was told that I had triple negative, stage 3 breast cancer.

This meant my treatment changed. I’m now going to have fifteen rounds of chemotherapy, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy.

I’ve done three sessions of chemotherapy with a three-week gap in between, but they’re about to start being weekly. I’m worried about how much this will interfere with my life.

I’ve been thinking about how to navigate my job alongside my treatment. I'm championship coordinator for the British F4 championship which means I travel all over the UK every few weeks, which takes its toll on my energy.

My work has been so helpful and supportive, putting in plans if I'm too unwell to attend an event. 

My health is at the forefront of my mind, but I’m hoping I can continue to do my job.

It’s difficult finding someone to talk to

It’s been a busy time, especially at the hospital. It’s difficult trying to get one dedicated person to call you back or see you. When my diagnosis changed, I was told quickly on the phone, with no real information about what that meant for me now.

The first thing I did was search online. That was how I found the Breast Cancer Care website. It’s been my go-to for information and to help me deal with any questions I have. I’ve checked the Forum too for support and reassurance about things that I can’t get answered by my hospital.

Eve at work

This weekend has given me something to look forward to

I have such a strong connection to motor racing and especially Silverstone. I grew up in the village and my dad worked at the circuit through my childhood. The excitement that the British Grand Prix brought to the village are some of my favourite memories and got me started in my career in motorsports.

I was really struggling after my first few chemotherapy sessions and feeling quite sorry for myself.

My husband and a friend already knew that my name was going to be on the SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team car at Silverstone - I just think they were waiting for the right moment to tell me.

When I was told, I felt completely over the moon. It's amazing that this race will help bring awareness to a charity like Breast Cancer Care. It’s given me something to look forward to during my next stage of treatment.

Breast cancer is less scary when you talk to people

I wished that I had known how much support was available when I was first diagnosed. I felt very isolated and spent a lot of time worried on my own.

It’s been through my own research that I’ve found my support system. As well as websites and forums, there has also been an outpouring of help from communities I’ve joined on Instagram and Facebook. It’s been amazing to find people who are going through the same thing as me.

It makes it less scary to admit that breast cancer is happening to you when there is someone to talk to you about it. It’s incredible that people who don’t know you can provide you with such strong support.

Find information and support for understanding your breast cancer treatment.

Going through treatment

 

Breast Cancer Care and SportsPesa Racing Point F1 Team have been working together since 2017, raising over £212,000 to date. The money raised has helped the charity fund life-changing support for people affected by breast cancer in the UK.