Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess who was married to a very loving Prince and together they had 2 adorable children and were living happily ever after...................... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 2004 my fairytale ended right before my very eyes!!!!!
My breast cancer journey began in October 2004. At the time of my diagnosis I was 29 years of age, very happily married to my husband Matthew and had 2 beautiful children James 3 and Luke 5 months old.
How this all started was I experienced over a period of a couple of days that I had an ache under my right arm pit. My initial thought was a mastitis infection as I was breast feeding Luke or a pulled muscle as I had gone back playing softball after a 4 year break. At this time Breast Cancer was the furtherest thing on my mind. After getting in to see the doctor his finding was a lump deep in my arm pit that he presumed was an infection, hence prescribed anti biotics follwed by an ultra sound just to be sure. Within 2 days I had got my ultrasound done and learnt that they had found a suspicious lump in my right breast that was going to need further investigation through a mammogram and needle biopsy. From here my heart sank and as much as I was thinking positive I could only think the worst. 5 days from my mammogram and needle biopsy my fears were confirmed with my test coming back positive for a tumour. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From here my journey to become a breast cancer survivor commenced and a new chapter in my life begun. I was referred to see a specialist Breast surgeon in Adelaide the same week as I got my results. This meant that I was to leave behind my 2 small children and head to the big smoke 500kms away. On speaking with my doctor more tests were scheduled for me to confirm that my cancer had spread no further than my breast and lymph nodes. Thankfully my cancer seemed to be contained to only these areas and I was able to return home as surgery was scheduled for the following week.
A week later I found myself kissing my two boys goodbye, a little unsure if, and when I was going to see them again and travel to Adelaide for my scheduled surgery. We drove out the driveway with them standing in the lounge room window waving goodbye. Tears just rolled down my cheeks, this was the longest trip to Adelaide that I had ever done :-(((((((((
The day of my surgery arrived and as they wheeled me out of the ward I reached across my bedside cupboard, grabbed the photo of my boys and gave them a big sloppy mummy kiss, knowing that I needed to be away from them for this short time so I could be with them for the rest of their lives. It was vital that I stayed positive and strong throughout this ordeal or I was not going to win my fight!!!!
My surgery performed was a lumpectomy and lymph node removal. My surgery and recovery went well being discharged within 5 days of surgery. My follow up appointment with the doctor was that of disappointment for me as the results that I got were not what I was hoping for. My pathology results confirmed that my tumour was 36mm big, grade 3 of 3(aggressive) and that 7 out of 28 lymph nodes were affected. From these results it was confirmed that I was going to have to have 7 cycles of chemotherapy and6 weeks of radio therapy.
Treatment was scheduled to start within 3 weeks. Due to the fact that we live in a regional area treatment wasn't an option for me locally so this meant travelling to and from Adelaide for all treatment. As the boys were so little we chose to fly up and back on the day of my chemotherapy enabling us to only be away for the day. As like most people my main side effect from chemo was hair loss. Within 2 weeks of my first treatment the dreaded day came when I did my hair and found more hair in my hands than on my head. As much as I thought I was prepared for this day I was overwhelmed once again by tears looking at myself in the mirror with bald patches all over my head. Now this became a little awkward and slightly comical because I was salon manager of a hairdressers and now was losing my hair at a rapid rate.......mmmm how might I explain this new hair style to our clients and just how was I going to talk them into having the same.
When my radiotherapy started I moved myself and the boys to Adelaide where we lived with close family friends for the 6 week duration of treatment. My sister came with me to help me with the children as I did experience some tiredness from the treatment. Unfortunately my husband had to stay back at home as he needed to continue working, so he made the 5 hour drive every Friday night to spend the weekends with us.
May 2005 arrived and it was end of treatment for me. I could now move back home and we could finally be a whole family again. That all sounded great and exciting, but unfortunately life after a breast cancer diagnosis just doesn't slot back into where you left if off. For the next 12 months I shed more tears that I did throughout my initial diagnosis as I tried to settle back into normal life without the fear of waking up everyday finding another lump or running off to the doctor with any little ache or pain that I felt.
I am truly grateful for my life that I have and for the family that I am going to grow old with. I believe that I wouldn't have made it through without the amazing love, support and kind wishes that I recieved from my husband, children, family, friends, work colleagues and my local community. It's so true that in a time of crisis your true friends shine through and they still continue to support me on my journey.
My breast cancer journey for me was one of triumph and strength. I say to people all the time that my breast cancer was an amazing journey, in that a diagnosis like this seems to put your whole life into perspective as YOU become the number one person in your life. My story is not an exception to the norm , but I hope that by me sharing my journey I hope to give strength and support to those who will also have their own journey.
I believe that having had breast cancer has made me the person I am today. It has made me a much stronger person and given me the courage to face anything that may be thrown my way. I am proud to say that I am a BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR xxxxx
Well hello again to all my online networkers!!!
I post this blog as I sit on my couch resting after hosting a very very successfull Pink Lady Day Luncheon in Mount Gambier yesterday.
Let me tell you the day was fabulous starting of with a live field of woman where about 220 ladies in pink ponchos gathered inside the pink lady silhouette as we took time to reflect on the reason why we were all taking part in this day.
Well everybody, sorry about getting you excited about reading my story but I hadn't actually set my settings for everybody to see it, so thanks so much to Di for pointing me in the right direction to fix this up. So hopefully you can now put the kettle on and sit back and check it all out, see just how and why I come to be part of this spectacular network. ENJOY xx
I know it's been a while since my last blog but I have to say that I am very excited about an event that I am leading........... Myself and a group of ladies are organising a Pink Lady Day Luncheon in conjuction with our local Gold Cup Horse Racing Carnival. We are going to host a mini field of woman at this event where we are aiming to have 250 woman all in pink ponchos standing inside the beautiful Veronica silhouette on our lawn area near the grandstand at the race course.
Wel..........l I am very excited about becoming part of the BCNA online network. This is my first blog post.
I look forward to meeting lots of new friends through this network and am excited about sharing my breast cancer journey, as well as reading about other woman's journey's.
Until next time xoxo