A mum diagnosed with breast cancer just four days before Christmas initially thought a lump was due to her pregnancy.
Steff Lynch, 32, of Prestwick, Scotland, was given the devastating news that she has stage one grade two breast cancer.
The mum of two and Dermalounge and Studio by Dermalounge owner, said her world was turned upside down by the news.
Steff, mum to Joshua and 12-month-old Jonah, said: “Breast cancer was not the gift I thought I would receive but here we are.
“You just never think these things are going to happen to you.
“I’m really going to raise awareness for the young ladies and men out there to show that this does happen and it can be detected early.”
Steff had a painless hard lump near the top of her chest since she was pregnant with baby Jonah but assumed it was a symptom from her pregnancy.
She eventually went to the doctor after her husband James, found a lump in his collar bone, with his test fortunately coming back clear.
After receiving an ultrascan and having her lymph nodes tested, Steff was told she had to return to get her results.
In an online video shared with thousands of followers, she said: “I walked into the room and the doctor just looked at me and said ‘you’ve got breast cancer’.
“I literally fell off the chair; was on my knees, I was retching.
“The first thing that I said to her was ‘I can’t die, I’ve got two kids that I need to see grow up.’
“I have never felt the fight or flight response like this in my life.
“They had to phone James to come in because I couldn’t even speak.
“Within seconds my world was literally turned upside down.
“I said to her ‘I’m 32, how is this even possible? How can this happen?’
“But it’s happening and it’s very, very real.
Steff’s surgery is scheduled for this Friday and she will also undergo radiotherapy.
Further test results will determine if the mum will need chemotherapy.
Receiving the devastating news just four days before Christmas was “a hard pill to swallow”, but the salon owner is determined to use her platform to raise as much awareness as possible.
She said: “Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was really, really difficult.
“When I was watching the kids opening their presents I couldn’t stop crying.
“James and I live a fairly active lifestyle; we don’t eat much junk food and you think ‘how can this happen?
“We’re doing everything that we should be doing’.
“But unfortunately when you’re handed your cards you just need to take it and roll with it.
“I’m going to share my journey because I know it’s going to help me going forward.
“If I had seen someone’s post nearly two years ago saying that they were 32 and just been diagnosed with breast cancer and knowing that I had that lump– I would’ve been at the doctors then.
“For me just having one person check themselves and if it saves one person’s life or it means it is detected earlier than what it would’ve been then that’s all I can do.
“We have a platform on Instagram and I feel like I’ve got a mission to complete and it’s to raise awareness.”
She added: “One week I was Googling Christmas day outfits and now I’m Googling ‘how to prevent cancer, what to eat when you’ve got breast cancer’, so my search engine is certainly a lot different to what it was last week.
“Jokes aside, it is really serious and I’m going to do everything I can to raise awareness for young people.”