Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

How friendship struck up in Dundee Asda helped Pam through breast cancer

Pam Woodfield and Sam Will

A Dundee woman who found support at her local supermarket after being diagnosed with breast cancer, plans to use her experience to help others. With a little help from her new friend Sam.

Former nurse Pam Woodfield was diagnosed with breast cancer last October after noticing a change in her left breast.

As a regular shopper at Asda Kirkton, Pam was in store nearly every day – finding it easier to just carry a few things at a time as she was going through treatment.

“The scale of breast cancer is enormous, every family knows someone who’s been affected by it,” Pam says. “The staff are so friendly at Asda Kirkton, always asking how I am.”

And a chance conversation with Asda’s Community Champion Sam Will has led to friendship, support – and a great new project for both women.

Pam Woodfield.
Pam Woodfield.

Sam, also from Dundee, explains: “We knew each other in the passing, we’d wave and say hi. Then I was doing taste-testing in store and Pam came over.

“She told me about her diagnosis. I run the Tickled Pink events and other community events in store.

“People come up to me when I’m in the store and tell me their stories. Having someone to talk to who is not directly involved can help people. It’s a great job, the best move I’ve ever made.”

Sam Will works as Asda Kirkton's community champion.
Sam Will works as Asda Kirkton’s community champion.

Pam says: “I wasn’t unwell but I had noticed some changes.

“Then I started on HRT and within that month and a half I noticed discharge from my nipple. My GP said to leave it a couple of weeks as it may be hormonal or may settle.

Symptoms included itching

“Then over those two weeks everything changed. My breast changed, I experienced numbness and itching.

“Itchiness is something I didn’t realise was a symptom and looking back to summer I was always itchy. But I thought it was just the heat.

“I used to be a staff nurse so when the diagnosis came I felt as if I knew that was what it was. Looking at it I knew there was something seriously wrong.”

Some of the breast changes that can indicate breast cancer.
Some of the breast changes that can indicate breast cancer.

Pam, 45, was quick to go to her GP about the changes. She underwent a mastectomy at Perth Royal Infirmary in January and is now making an excellent recovery.

“The care was absolutely brilliant. Though going back and forward each day to Edinburgh for radiotherapy was difficult,” says Pam.

“I’m lucky I only had five days. Many people don’t realise radiotherapy takes seconds. In my case 58.

“My mum and dad live nearby and my sister in Inverness was never off the phone, she was great. And coming in to Asda to talk to Sam was a brilliant support.”

Knitted knockers

Since her surgery, Pam and Sam have become good friends.

Sam smiles: “I’ve learned lots from becoming friends with Pam. I’ve even managed to crochet a boob!”

Pam says: “Maggie’s Centre in Dundee mentioned Knitted Knockers, an online page where you can get free prosthetics, to me.

“They’re brilliant. I said to Sam ‘get on the case’ and then she crocheted me one!”

Sam and Pam now plan to take the story of how they met – and the breast cancer awareness message – out to the community.

Sam says: “I was drawn to Pam because of her positivity.

“Honesty was so important between us. I didn’t want Pam to just say she was fine and that was it, I wanted to help. Also having a laugh, and sharing a sense of humour, to try to smile through it, helps.

“Pam explained about her background in nursing and said she’d love to help by coming in to Dundee schools and to Tickled Pink events with me to tell people first-hand about her experience.”

Pam continues: “If telling my story can help even one person I’ll be happy.

“Part of it for me has being able to keep a sense of humour. Of course I’ve had a few moments where I’ve felt alone but, after meeting Sam in store, I have her on Facebook. So it’s good and we can talk that way too.

“I’ll need to have yearly mammograms until I’m 50. And I need genetic testing as my aunt on my dad’s side had breast cancer but we’re not sure about my mum’s side.

“I won’t be able to take HRT now, which is upsetting as I felt it was working for me. But I try to manage with natural remedies instead.

“I have Reiki and reflexology. And Sam and I are going for a massage together this week to celebrate me getting the all-clear, so that will be great!”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password?

[[title]]