Kim’s rugby comeback after cancer
As a healthy 26-year-old woman, training with her rugby team twice a week and playing games every weekend, Kim James could never have imagined the events that would unfold in November 2019 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Scotland Women captain Rachel Malcolm was joined by Kim earlier this year for an episode of Powering Conversation, powered by SP Energy Networks to talk through her battle with breast cancer, her return to rugby and her involvement as the Vice President of Lismore RFC in Edinburgh.
“By total chance I found a lump in my breast”, said Kim.
“I’m not somebody who would have said checked their breasts regularly, which we absolutely should, so finding this lump was a surprise. I’d left it a couple of weeks thinking ‘it’s probably nothing’. Being 26 at the time, what could it possibly have been when I’m so young, with no family history of breast cancer.”
Despite her initial feelings, a week later Kim went to her GP who referred her to a specialist clinic and from here very quickly received biopsies to determine the nature of the lump she had found.
“I got the call back from the doctor when my results were ready, and he asked me to come in the next day and bring somebody. Immediately I knew that this wasn’t good, and the next day I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.”
From here, Kim bravely endured six rounds of chemotherapy before then receiving a mastectomy to the affected breast.
Through this tough time, Kim’s rugby club, Lismore, effectively became her family.
“The rugby girls, and guys, and really the whole club were amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to support me at the time especially because my family were in Bristol, so it meant the rugby club really did become my family.”
Now 29-years-old, Kim has made a full recovery and is back on the pitch playing rugby and supporting the club as their Vice President.
“Going back to rugby, the first couple of games I was obviously really nervous. Having had the surgeries, I was worried about impact to the chest and worried about pain, but it was absolutely fine and eventually playing felt normal again.
“I really wanted to get involved within the leadership of the club because I felt like I can make a difference and be a voice for the women and speak up for things where we might need a bit of support that the wider committee doesn’t always see.”
Listen to Kim’s episode with Rachel in full, below.