About this story
Shananne Fields was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her second child. She shares her experience navigating the diagnosis and what helped her through this challenging time.
Shananne Fields is a happy and healthy mother of two beautiful children, Noah 4, and Willow 3. Though the path to motherhood and good health hasn’t been easy for Shananne.
In 2017, the Mornington Peninsula resident miscarried twins and felt the depth of unspoken grief that comes with miscarriage. Joy came later that year with the birth of Noah.
In 2018 Shananne was thrilled to be pregnant with her second child. Until her life was flipped upside down with a diagnosis of breast cancer. She was 37. Shananne says, “Being a young woman, breast cancer wasn’t on my radar. I knew people that had breast cancer, but they were much older. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young women in Australia, I never knew that until it happened to me.”
It was only that Shananne mentioned her breast was sore to her obstetrician that a screening and diagnosis followed. “I was cuddling Noah in bed one morning and I felt a little bit sore. I asked my obstetrician ‘do you think it’s a blocked milk duct?’ she said, ‘let’s do an ultrasound and see.’ Within two weeks I had a full diagnosis and was in hospital having surgery.”
Shananne credits the love and support of her husband Emmett, her family, and friends for getting her through cancer treatment. Shananne’s other key supports were her McGrath Foundation Breast Cancer Nurse, and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). “BCNA is fantastic. It changed our life through that difficult time. In hospital my McGrath Breast Cancer Nurse introduced me to BCNA. The information from BCNA is relevant to Australia, it’s easy to understand and evidence based. When you go on the internet it can be daunting because what you see isn’t always relevant to Australia.”
BCNA is a not-for-profit organisation that provides advocacy, connection, support, and information for those affected by breast cancer. “When I had radiation therapy, BCNA put us in touch with a meal service. It meant we could just come home after treatment to a home cooked meal every night. The radiation made me so fatigued, as well as having two little babies. For my healing, having that support was so amazing for me and for Emmett.”
A key fundraiser for BCNA is the annual Pink Bun campaign in partnership with Bakers Delight. The campaign runs from April 28 to May 18 and has been going for 22 years.
To help BCNA be the voice for all Australians affected by breast cancer grab a Pink Fun Bun six pack or collect all three Fun Bun Friends at your local Bakers Delight. Or host a Pink Bun Party fundraiser with your workplace, school, social or community group. 100 per cent of all Fun Bun sales goes to BCNA.
Today Shananne is cancer free. “My treatment was a success. I had surgery, hormone therapy and radiation therapy. I’m on hormone therapy for 10 years. After having cancer I’m healthier than I’ve ever been because I don’t let anything slide. Keep up those appointments that you think ‘I’ll wait until next month to do that’.”
This article was originally published in Mornington Peninsula Magazine.
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