Leanne

Age at diagnosis: 36

 

It was April 2016 when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Lying in bed having a cuddly, my partner says to me you have a lump (in my left breast), I immediately said ‘Don’t be silly’. Turns out he was right, the one time I bet he wished he was wrong. My partner is one persistent fellow he rang me the next day to ensure that I had made an appointment with the Dr, to which I hadn’t. Being a nurse I should know better than to take my time getting things checked out.

I had an amazing Dr Adrianne, she immediately organised for me to go and have a mammogram and ultrasound and fine needle biopsy. I had had a fine needle biopsy previously for a cyst in my right breast so I knew what was happening. Unfortunately for me the Male Dr doing the biopsy was extremely unprofessional in the way in which he spoke, he told me he didn’t think that it was cancer it was a calcification. I didn’t ask for his opinion I didn’t even want it, I am the kind of person who likes to have the facts before you start to worry about things. Well turns out he was wrong.

We spend our time running around looking after kids, making dinner, washing, cooking and working and we say I’m young, fit and healthy. I’m fine I’m going to live until I’m 100. Then out of the blue BAM your world is turned upside down. You are told those unbelievable words you never dreamed you would ever hear. You have breast cancer. You sit there for a second as the words race around your head. No there must be a mistake look at me, I look fine…I feel fine..You see the look in the your Drs eyes the empathy as reality finally sets in. You just cry. The hardest walk is the one down the corridor and back to the car. Everything seems to slow down. The next steps are also hard. My family is closely knit we get along amazingly, I couldn’t ask for a better one. Once I had gotten over telling my partner the results and rang my sister, Kym and told her what was happening, she was awesome so strong and the best sister anyone could have. My dad is a softy, I couldn’t break the news to him I had to get Kym to tell him. I also had to tell my bosses that after just returning from maternity leave in October that I would be needing to be taking a little more time off, I wasn’t really sure how long at this stage but it turned out I had a year and a half of intensive treatment.

From April 2016 the weeks and months was full of Drs appointments, scans, blood tests, surgery and more Drs appointments and still going to work acting normal, til you found out what you are dealing with. My Surgeon Dr Lisa was also fantastic, she took her time to explain everything and nothing was a problem. The day I went to have my lumpectomy was the longest day of my life. Up early in the morning getting the kids ready to go to Nanny and Poppy’s so they could get to school and daycare. My partner came with me and all I felt was numb. How could my body have done this to me, I have never touched a smoke, didn’t drink in excess and I was fit. I remember the drs and nurses and getting wheeled back the ward after the surgery. I had my family visit, when they left I looked down at my breast, that doesn’t look right. I didn’t use my buzzer no not this terrible nurse-patient she went out to the nurses station. As I got to the nurse she said I think you should lie down. As I got back into bed I thought I was going to pass out. the nurse rang Dr Lisa and she came back to see me. the first thing she said was “you didn’t realise that you where having an augmentation did you? we ran out of time and only did one side” We both laughed, I had a haematoma. So after my haematoma was sorted out. I got to meet my Oncologist once again amazing Dr. Dr Kathleen spent time explaining all the options available to me what treatment was recommended and why it was the best option for me. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer.

So the Chemotherapy treatment began, 4 lots of AC and 12 lots of paclitaxcil and then 38 radiation sessions. No one can really prepare you for what is going to happen to you. How you are going to feel, the number of emotions, the pain in your body, the things that your body just will not be able to do, like walk to get your daughter from her class room something that you take for granted. Not being able to jump on a trampoline as you don’t have the energy and you just want to sleep and eating is just a chore you don’t enjoy. Watching the looking in you kids eyes as they are disappointed that you aren’t keeping up with them and you are spending lots of time at the doctors at the hospital or in bed.

One of thing that I didn’t expect was the fact that my hair falling out would hurt, for me it felt like needles poking into my head which in turn makes sleeping extremely difficult. On a positive note I didn’t have to pay for waxing, haircuts and found new ways to wear scares and have a variety of hats now. The kids would take turns it deciding which hat or scarf I was to wear.

One of the best things that has happened to me during my treatment is that I got the blame for my sister ending up pregnant,I might add she was not going to have kids, as I was triple positive she stopped the pill and WAHOOOO a baby girl. Just the other week we found out she will be due a second baby very soon. So I get to be an Aunty twice from this little experience, something that I will cherish for ever.

So Brave gave me an opportunity to show my daughter Kyla and son Nate that no matter what happens to you take risks, do things out of your comfort zone give everything a go once, and don’t let anything stand in your way. My family and friends have been amazing support through this entire time and words are not enough.

Never forget to tell the people in your life that you love them every day. And if you are feeling like shit laugh or find someone to laugh with. Last of all, smile it will make you and the people around you feel better. xoxo