My story

Diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Stage 2, Grade 3. October 2012.

2 operations. Lump removed and nodes.  Clear margins around lump.

Found lump just below 2cms in size.  Early Breast Cancer.  Mother had breast cancer at 55 yo and now in her 70's.

Currently not at work and had Chemotherapy 7 times and about to have Radiation on May 22nd for 6 weeks.  Finishes on July 11th 2013

Hairdresser for 20 years, and  currently - 5 years as a Pharmacy Assistant.

Married for 7 years to Sean .


Nov 2013 Returned to work

Member blog

September 2014

belmckenna's picture
Posted by belmckenna on 12 Sep 2014, 10:15AM

Time is flying by and I just have 5 minutes to hop on and say hello.  It is nearly a year since I returned back to work at the Pharmacy as an assistant.

Starting with 20 hours a week and then 25 and now stretching to 30.  I have also been studying since going back, which was an issue because my mind was like mush for the first 4 months back.  I took a whole year off,  and had 6 chemo, followed by radiation for 6 weeks.  Trip Neg BC.  

That was another week

belmckenna's picture
Posted by belmckenna on 09 Jun 2014, 01:24PM

As I manage to make my way through one week after another, I pop into BCNA, to say hi to a few people and have flash backs of last year.

 Having been recently asked "Did having Breast Cancer change you?"  I replied "I dont think so, perhaps a little less superficial."  There is definatley a life before Cancer and one after whether we notice/recognide it or not.  How can you ever just go back to who you once were.  I am a lot less carefree, and optimistic I think, and yet each day we swing between "soldier" mode and "I wish I could turn back time".  

8 months back at work

belmckenna's picture
Posted by belmckenna on 30 May 2014, 10:03AM

Apologies for not being able to get on line as much as I can and thank you to Mandy Forteath for her wonderful dedication to BCNA.  I have thrown myself into my studies as a Pharmacy Assistant, and working 25 hours per week.  I am studying Certificates II and III in Community Pharmacy and about to start the final 6 toughest part, involving Dispensary.  We who have been through Chemotherapy and returned to work, understand the constant challenges of the physical changes that surgery creates, the energy loss and the memory fog.

Life is settling in

belmckenna's picture
Posted by belmckenna on 05 Apr 2014, 09:38AM

Hi to all the ladies who still get onto the website even after they have finished treatment.  I stil have my portal in my chest and have it flushed every 6 weeks, so I feel I am still connected here.  (said with a smile).  Wow that damn port annoyed me for about 6 months, my bra strap rubbed against it etc.  Now I dont notice it.  Although I am a bit numb behind my armpit from surgeries, I dont notice that either now.  


Pending Fringe Party

belmckenna's picture
Posted by belmckenna on 14 Mar 2014, 09:22AM

I often wonder as each month goes by, if I will remember to hop on here and say what is going on, because the further away from treatment, the more you want to forget and move on.  However, I am still happy to be of help to those who want to read from one of the "Survivors".  The two greatest things for me were loss of my long hair, and instant Menopause.  The underarm and preventing lymphoedema - and regaining my memory are other subjects.  Those are the ongoing things.  How it has affected me, the stages, of returning into a work environment, whe



  • Name:  Mrs Belinda McKenna
  • Gender:  Female
  • Marital status:  Married
  • About:  20 years of hairdressing, then 5 years as a Pharmacy Assistant. Married for 6 years. Grindelwald TAS. 1 and half yrs. No children

My diagnosis

  • Breast cancer experience: 
    I have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Diagnosis type: 
    Early Breast Cancer
  • Diagnosis date:  15/10/2012


  • Hobbies: 
    Craft activities, Fitness and sports, Reading
  • Breast cancer-related interests: 
    Impact on relationships, Rural and remote issues, Workplace and career

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