Jamilee

Age at diagnosis: 34
Family history of breast cancer: no
Stage 1, estrogen positive

 

My name is Jamilee Rodgers and I am 37 years old.

In 2014 at 34 years old, I was diagnosed with a evasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer) and with no family history it came as a shock. It was found after the biopsy, of the whole breast, that I also had Paget’s disease of the nipple.

Since then I have had a mastectomy, chemo, radiology, reconstruction and currently on my third year of a five-year course of hormonal supressing treatment.

Initial biopsy was conducted at the local hospital and subsequent lumpectomy. It wasn’t until the results found more cancerous cells in the area outside of lumpectomy and a satellite lesion that I felt the need to head interstate for specialist care, as professional as the staff are in Alice they are geared for cancer surgery.

I have had quite a lot of time away from my husband and four children for treatment interstate. Starting with the mastectomy at Burnside Memorial Hospital (Adelaide) then six weeks of radiology at the Tennyson Centre also in Adelaide. My final trips south was for a breast reconstruction and unfortunately a failed attempt at a nipple reconstruction.

To help facilitate my treatment the local McGrath Breast Care Nurse Liza Salib has been there from day 1 offering support and organising flights and/or home visits.

I was fortunate to have my chemotherapy in Alice Springs with a professional and beautiful team at the hospital they made me laugh and smile through my 18 weeks of treatment. The first day was Halloween and my nurse was dressed as Einstein fake moustache and all!

Part of my recovery was helped by the positive attitudes of friends and family and my continued enthusiasm for my boxing training.

I have appeared in the Centralian Advocate twice raising awareness on breast cancer in young women and have been interviewed on the local ABC radio.

I also have given a talk to a fund-raising group and one on one talks with women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or want to know more about the treatment process as they have been given a similar one to me.

It sucks having cancer but if you have the right support and great people to surround you it makes the experience bearable. Cry and laugh, especially laugh cause by the end you’ll give less f*@ks!