TODAY (Thursday) marks the first round of chemotherapy treatment for Dunfermline barber Laurie Gallacher.

The 48-year-old has worked at New Row Barbers for two decades but has now stepped away from her home away from home, temporarily, to begin her battle with breast cancer.

In the weeks and months to come, she will continue to share her journey with the Press in an effort to raise awareness and document her days dealing with the life-changing illness.

Her cancer, HER2, is stage four, grade three and fast-growing.

However, most importantly, it is treatable.

With this knowledge, and the support of her family; partner Jamie and son Taylor, 11; and friends and customers, she is prepared for what lies ahead and is ready for the fight.

Collectively, they are all ready to “kick cancer’s ass” and Laurie’s outlook could not be more positive.

For her, this is simply “another lockdown” and while there will be tough days in waiting, she is armed with a wicked sense of humour, an unrivalled determination and an abundance of love around her; she is not simply standing up to cancer, she is ready to send it packing.

Her last day in the barbers was set to be yesterday but she made the decision on Tuesday to take the day for herself in preparation for her chemo commencing.

She was standing in her work when she got the call confirming the date.

“I had a pen and paper beside me and once I came off the phone, I just burst into tears,” she told the Press.

“That was like it becoming official.

“I just want to get it done. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this weekend (chilling with friends).

“But, last weekend, I was really eager to get going for my son’s sake. He wanted me to get treated as soon as possible. We’ve enjoyed our time together being a family, this week. It’s been nice seeing Taylor being back to Taylor again. He had a couple of days where he was looking about like a wee sheep and a bit lost but now he’s back to causing trouble and asking for stuff!

“I’m s******* myself about the chemo but it needs done. When they initially said, on the phone, that it was the week after next, I thought that’s really quick! I was like, ‘That’s too soon! I want to work and get things done!’, but then I thought about it and understood that as it’s a fast-growing cancer, it was better to get it done early. Let’s hurry up and get this done!”

Since revealing the results of her biopsy, Laurie has been overwhelmed, and surprised, by the cancer stories she has heard.

“There was a man in my chair at the barbers who told me that he’s now overcome bowel cancer. So many people have shared their stories with me and it is brilliant to hear only good news – that’s all I want to hear!”

One man, who she met at a hospital last week, didn’t quite get the memo about only sharing good news.

“I was getting a heart scan ... just making sure that I’ve got yin, I think!” she recalled.

“This man gets pushed in with his wheelchair and I give him a wee smile – through my mask – and ask him how he is.

“He says, ‘Hi hen. I fell doon the stairs.’ “‘Did ye? That’s not good.’ “‘No, but my pals have bought me skittles for the next time I dae it!’ “That’s brilliant. He’s got my attitude and positivity about it.

“As he shared with me his story, I then told him about my breast cancer.

“He then goes, ‘Aye, my niece had that … she died.’ “I felt like hitting his bloody wheelchair!

“I just thought to myself, ‘You little s***!’.

“God, love him, he’s just an old guy telling it like it is – I really had a chuckle to myself about it. I did want to tip his wheelchair, though!

“I told him I was going to fight it and he was like, ‘Aye, you do that, hen!’

“I suggested to him that he may want to move after falling down the stairs into a wee bungalow but he wasn’t having it.

"He told me that he had a stairlift … I hope it breaks now – I’m joking!”

The Press will continue to report Laurie’s journey and provide updates on how she is progressing through her own eyes, with notes from her own diary to follow.

She never thought it would be her having to face this, but she isn’t going to hide from the fact that she now is.

“It’s out in the open now and I’m not going to be quiet about it,” Laurie promises.