Woman who had double mastectomy thanks club for shoulder bag donations

Linda Farman (right) pictured with friends Bob and Ann Brock. Picture: Linda Farman

Linda Farman (right) pictured with friends Bob and Ann Brock. Picture: Linda Farman - Credit: Archant

A Norwich bowls club has rallied to make 150 shoulder bags for breast cancer patients after one of its members underwent a double mastectomy.


Linda Farman, from Thorpe St Andrew, attended a routine mammogram in February and was called back by doctors to undergo further tests which found a 6cm growth in her left breast.

Doctors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) advised her the best course of treatment would be to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

Due to lockdown, her surgery took place on June 15 at the Spire Hospital, on Watton Road.

After surgery, patients wear a drain bag over their shoulder to hold tubes and bottles which drain fluid from the body after surgery.

When Miss Farman heard the hospital was in short supply she asked her team if anyone would be able to make bags.

So far, the County Arts Bowls Club, in Plumstead Road, have made 150 bags for the hospitals.

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Miss Farman said: “Your chest is black and blue, I would describe it has having a tower block crushing your chest.

“After the surgery you have fluid coming from your breast and chest and it comes through four foot of tubes and goes into a bottle. Every time you get up you have to lift these bottles and carry them around.

“People had mentioned drain brags and you have a vision of a horrible smelly thing.”

She added that some of the club’s members had worked in Norwich’s garment industry at businesses including Wallace King.

She said: “Now we have lots of beautifully sewn shoulder bags.

“The club is always up for raising funds for charity and I thought they would rise to the challenge.”

Miss Farman has delivered the bags to the NNUH breast cancer team and Spire Hospital.

She praised their work including surgeons Maged Hussein and Guido Kohler from the Spire for her treatment.

Miss Farman said: “You look for symptoms but I had nothing.

“I had appointments very regularly, I was never left waiting. We talked about it, I had reservations, it is a very invasive procedure. I knew I would want reconstruction, that is a personal choice for every women and I knew for me I needed my body again.

He [Mr Hussein] said to me my best future health would be by having a double mastectomy.”