It was October 11, 2018...life was good, I was a week into being 32, I’d been nominated for top 6 beer reps in WA, I was planning my next big holiday and I was just so happy, I literally proclaimed on my birthday that this was going to be my year....finally!!!
And that’s when it happened, I found a lump while checking my handy work at applying a fake tan. Safe to say I got a little more than a summer glow from this tanning session. So, if someone ever says to you that a fake tan may save your life, it’s a thing!
I go to the GP that same day, I’m examined then get referred to go for an ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy. The next couple of days are awkward and painful. But then the waiting game for the results begins...which in some ways is even more painful.
I didn’t have to wait long though; in just a few days my GP was telling me my new reality. Stage 2, grade 3, triple positive breast cancer! My 1 lump was actually 3 and that meant I’d need a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation!
Fast forward 2 weeks, it’s Oct 29 and after a series of surgeon appointments and more referrals, I’m on the operating table saying goodbye to my right breast.
It wasn’t easy, the weeks leading up to surgery were the most emotional of my life. Telling your family & friends is what gets you. You re-live it every time you have to tell them and hear the pain in their voice. I squeezed a trip to Bali in before my surgery and found the acceptance of the whole situation that I needed to be able to do a social media post telling the rest of my world my current reality.
The next few months are trying, treatment gets harder each time, but I am determined to do everything in my power to be ok. I start doing energy work, seeing healers, massage, reiki, healing touch, acupuncture, meditation, adjust my diet, do a photoshoot, I give my body & mind every possible chance to get through this. It’s fascinating what your body can withstand when you work from within, I learnt early on that mindset is 90% of the battle and your body will get you through anything.
It was during this time I started to utilise Solaris cancer care at SCGH and the support, treatments and understanding that comes from the team of amazing humans is second to none. I made sure to pop some money in the donation box every time, a small gesture, but how else do you say thank you to strangers being there for you through the most difficult time of your life.
I’ve had my share of setbacks, complications, victories and trying moments...I’ve watched my skin burn from radiation, endured a failed reconstruction, had needles as thick as iPhone cords come at me and more surgery ahead of me. This journey of mine has not been easy, but every day I tell myself, be the exception, not the statistic!
Read the full story here: www.dryjuly.com/2020/my-story-all-that-is