A Swindon woman has bravely shared details of her cancer fight to help raise money for charity.

Steph Tulley, 41, from Freshbrook was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022 and after intense rounds of chemotherapy that left her extremely ill.

She underwent a mastectomy in January this year.

Now Steph, who works at the Windmill pub in Freshbrook Village Centre, and her colleagues are taking part in this year's Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising campaign #Tub2Pub.

She is hoping that people will be inspired by her story and will take their empty confectionary tubs used for chocolates like Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations to the Windmill pub as part of brewery Greene King's national efforts which saw it raise £11,000 in the previous two years.

She said: "Macmillan need the money, they need help, they are a charity and they are not government funded, they do rely heavily on charitable donations and people fundraising for them

"For their nurses to continue what they are doing, you can take the tubs into the pub, somebody will collect them and then on February 11, they get collected and Macmillan get a certain amount of money from the tubs, then the tubs are shredded and recycled as something else.

"Macmillan need the tubs more than your recycling and bins do.”

Steph's partner discovered a lump in May 2022 and eventually convinced her to go to the doctors to get it checked, which she says she agreed to do partly just to shut him up.

But while there the doctor found two other lumps that she didn't know about, and further tests at the hospital, including mammograms and biopsies discovered a fourth and fifth lump.

One lump was removed during the biopsies, but Steph needed to embark on IV Chemotherapy in June 2022 to deal with the others.

"It was horrendous," the mum of three said, "The first round was the same day as my daughter’s prom, I came home and I was fine, but the next morning I was on my knees.

"Every three weeks I would have my chemo, then I would have a week or two weeks of feeling awful."

The chemotherapy was successful, removing the three smaller lumps and reducing the large one, but Steph then needed to take chemotherapy tablets to to shrink it down even further before she could have a mastectomy.

"The mastectomy was discussed when I had my diagnosis, they explained that the smaller the cancer is, the easier it becomes for the surgeon, so it was always the plan, to get it under control before doing the operation.

"It’s been good and bad, sometimes I’ve thought about it and felt like "I’m never going to be me, I’m not going to look right, I’m not going to feel right," and I've been embarrassed to see people.

"Other days, I think that this is what I’ve had to do to stay alive and be here for my children."

The operation was a success and now 50 per cent of the tumour remains, meaning that Steph will once again have to undergo chemotherapy, and then have regular scans every three months for a year, after which she hopes to have a reconstruction done.

"It changes everything, as soon as you hear the word cancer," she said, "It has been awful not being able to move, not being able to do the housework or look after my children, but I've had a good support around me from family and friends."

Steph was full of praise for the breast care nurses at Great Western Hospital who were there 'whenever she needed them'.

She was also supported by Macmillan Cancer Care who she had previously relied on during the deaths of several of her family members.

"My mum passed away nearly 14 years ago, Macmillan nurses came out and helped her along with Prospect nurses, and they were on the phone with me.

"When my dad died they did the same with me. I could phone them and they would give me practical and emotional support.

"When my sick pay ran out after I'd had nearly 18 months off work they organised a grant of £500 which was a great help, as well as counselling.

"They have helped me and my family for pretty much my whole life, with my mum having bowel and liver cancer and my dad having bowel council. They were there for me afterwards."