A mum from High Wycombe who battled breast cancer twice will be a special guest at this year's Race for Life in the town. 

Mum-of-two, Jeanne Paul, was 38 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2010 after finding a tiny, pea-sized lump in her armpit while taking a shower. 

Working as a Wing Commander engineer in the RAF, Jeanne visited the RAF Medical Centre who referred her to Wycombe Hospital where she had a mammogram the next day.

When that failed to show anything, Jeanne had an ultrasound and was told the devastating news that it had shown a suspicious shape that surgeons were 99 per cent sure was cancer.

Jeanne returned to hospital a week later to hear that her biopsy results confirmed she had cancer. She had the lump removed and then started chemotherapy.

Her personal story and photograph has now been included on a card designed by Hallmark which went on sale in a selection of large Tesco stores around the UK in support of Cancer Research UK. 

Describing her ordeal, Jeanne said: “Losing my hair was the worst part for me. 

“I had always had long, dark hair and I worried that my children – Laura was six and Andrew was five at the time – wouldn’t see me as their mum if I was bald. But thankfully they took it in their stride.”

Jeanne underwent radiotherapy and started taking Tamoxifen while having annual check-ups, but three years after her original diagnosis came the bombshell news the cancer was back.

She said: “I felt so shocked. Mentally it was so much more difficult to deal with a second time round. I felt very frightened and wasn’t sure I could face the treatment again.”

Jeanne opted for a double mastectomy and had the operation in May 2014, leaving two scars across her chest. 

Jeanne said: “The idea of any further surgery for reconstruction wasn’t something I was prepared to contemplate – I didn’t want any more trauma. Being an engineer by trade, my approach was almost clinical.

"I’d had my two children and finished breast feeding, so as far as I was concerned the system could be decommissioned.

“As far as I was concerned, reconstruction still wouldn’t have looked or felt like me – it seemed a lot of trouble to go to and I chose not to do it.”

That was almost four years ago and since then Jeanne has left her job and went on to complete a masters degree in aviation safety and now works as a freelance aviation safety consultant.

She said: “I wanted to prove the treatment did not affect me forever. I am far happier now I am able to spend more time with my family.”

Jeanne and her daughter Laura, now 14, will be guests of honour at Race for Life at The Rye, High Wycombe, on Sunday July 22 and will be officially starting the 5k race.

  • To sign up for Race for Life in High Wycombe visit raceforlife.org.