TV show could save Kyla's life
Published: 21 Jan 2012 10:008 comments
Kyla McKinlay was flicking through channels one night when she stumbled across an episode of the popular American sitcom Sex and the City.
Unaware that it was decision that could save her life, she stopped browsing and began to watch the episode, in which one of the main characters, Samantha, suddenly realises she has breast cancer.
It prompted Kyla, 36, to examine herself - and she was shocked to find a similar lump.
Just days later, in October last year, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and medics at Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow informed her this had spread to her lymph glands.
Surgeons acted quickly to remove the two to three-centimetre mass and two lymph glands under her arm.
The brave young mum is now undergoing chemotherapy treatment before she starts radiotherapy.
Kyla told the Telegraph she is thankful for the unexpected reminder that led to the discovery of her cancer, and is remaining positive as she fights the disease.
Kyla, who lives in Glen Douglas Place, Overton, with husband Scott and five-year-old son Kerr, said: "I think my guardian angel was watching over me that night.
"I keep thinking, 'what if I had not stopped on that channel or it had been a different episode?'
"Looking back, I was not someone who checked myself regularly.
"I always thought that breast cancer affected older women, as you don't get called for routine mammograms until you are in your 50s - I thought I was too young and healthy for it to get me."
There is no history of breast cancer in Kyla's family and she leads a healthy lifestyle.
The busy working mum said she had been feeling tired in the weeks before finding the lump but put this down to a packed daily schedule.
Kyla's dad, Tony Buckley, runs Buckley's Firth Hotel in Gourock where she also works, and the family had been busy working on functions and weddings.
She said: "But when I found the lump I think I just knew.
"Those two days I spent waiting for results were the worst two days of my life.
"I had been going through all the things I thought the doctor would say in my head.
"But when I heard the news, I went into shock."
Kyla has been given four rounds of chemotherapy and has two more still to go. She will then undergo 19 doses of radiotherapy at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow.
The treatment is taking its toll on her body and leaves Kyla feeling nauseous and with pain in her joints, but she is determined to remain positive, with the support of her close friends and family, including mum Marie and sisters Ashleigh and Stacey.
She said: "You can either lie down and let it walk all over you, or you can stand up and fight - and that is the kind of person I am.
"I don't want people to look at me and see cancer - I am still the same person.
"When I was told I had breast cancer I asked the doctor if I was going to die - because you hear the words and you automatically think the worst.
"But the nurses at the oncology unit are amazing and have been great at reassuring me.
"I have to remain positive for the sake of my little boy - Kerr knows that mummy is unwell and is taking special medicine which makes her hair fall out."
Inspirational Kyla now wants to highlight the importance of regular self-examinations and is also organising a charity event, called The Baldy Walk, to raise cash for the IRH oncology unit.
She said: "The staff really do go the extra mile for patients - they are exceptional and I would love to be able to give something back."
Kyla is hoping to raise enough money to buy a special comfortable chair which patients can relax on while being given chemotherapy.
There are some at the hospital already, but they are in short supply.
The Baldy Walk will take place on 29 January and leaves from Overton.
Around 100 people have already signed up and some have vowed to shave their heads in solidarity.
The walk goes on to the west end of Greenock, along the Esplanade and along to the Firth in Gourock, where Kyla's dad will serve up curry and put on karaoke entertainment for all the participants.
Tickets cost £10 and all money goes to the oncology unit.
Kyla is no stranger to fundraising and has organised the successful Ladies' Lunch at the Firth, along with her sisters and aunt, Lorraine Morgan, for the past few years.
They have raised thousands of pounds for local charities and at the latest event back in October they managed to gather £6,000 which was split between Ardgowan Hospice and the McPherson Centre.
Having been diagnosed with cancer just weeks before, and two days after an operation to remove a lump from her breast, Kyla bravely took to the stage at the event to talk about the importance of the hospice.