‘I re­alised I could do it my­self’

Best - - BEST FOR REAL LIFE -

Sue Har­bot­tle-Sear, 59, from East Sus­sex, cred­its cancer with help­ing her set up her own busi­ness…

When I was re­called af­ter a rou­tine mam­mo­gram at the start of 2017, I knew it wasn’t go­ing to be good news. Tests un­cov­ered a tu­mour hid­ing be­hind my nip­ple. Sin­gle, I’d just started a new job as a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager and was de­ter­mined to keep work­ing. Af­ter a mas­tec­tomy, the sur­geon ex­plained the tu­mour was larger than they’d orig­i­nally thought. Af­ter six cy­cles of chemo, I had 15 rounds of ra­dio­ther­apy. My boss wasn’t un­der­stand­ing and, just as I reached the end of ra­dio­ther­apy, I was let go.

In­stead of life re­turn­ing to nor­mal, ev­ery­thing fell apart. I had to sign on, but af­ter such gru­elling treat­ment, I could barely job hunt.

At job in­ter­views, I ex­plained I wanted to work part time be­cause I was re­cov­er­ing from cancer. I never heard back from any­one.

A friend ran an or­ganic soft drinks range, so I of­fered to take over his so­cial me­dia pages. Within weeks, he had more cus­tomers.

In Jan­uary this year, I set up my own com­pany, Konzepts. I wanted to sup­port small, ru­ral busi­nesses. I’ve even been short­listed as Best Ru­ral Start Up at the Ru­ral Busi­ness Awards 2018.

Cancer pushed me out of the world I thought I wanted to be in, then it set me free.

Sue be­lieves cancer set her free

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