Tweets used to highlight cancer experience
A DUBLIN businesswoman has used Twitter to share her experiences of having cancer.
Aileen O’Toole delivered “#mycancerstory” in a series of tweets starting yesterday morning and continuing into the evening.
Her detailed account of past and present battles with the disease was a “one-day project” designed as a personal release and a way of highlighting some of the positive aspects of the experience, she told The Irish Times yesterday evening.
At that point, she hadn’t told her husband Padraig or the rest of her family about her plans, but had acquired large numbers of Twitter followers. Having started with just four followers the day before, she had more than 800 yesterday evening.
“I wanted to get it out of my system and to share with others what has been a trying time. There’s a lot of camaraderie and goodwill among cancer patients,” she said.
Ms O’Toole, the managing director of Amas consultancy and a founder of the Sunday Business Post, began by telling readers she was going to share her “year from hell” via the social media website.
“I’m seriously ill. I’ve breast cancer. I was diagnosed with secondaries on my liver,” her first tweet read. “This is my second battle with cancer.”
She then related her first experience of cancer in 1994, when Prof John Crown diagnosed her with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She received chemotherapy and survived. Although told she would be infertile, she became pregnant and later give birth to a third child.
Last November, a biopsy confirmed she had breast cancer requiring radical surgery and a mastectomy. She was operated on in December and began chemotherapy the following month. “I was hospitalised three times between Feb and April was extremely ill. I was floored with fatigue.”
In May, an MRI revealed cancerous tumours on her liver which required keyhole surgery. She is now undergoing daily radiotherapy but expects this to be finished next month.