How I became a reluctant expert | PERSONAL STORY

The year of my diagnosis, 2007. The doctor told me I had early breast cancer. It’s amazing that in a millisecond life as you know it changes. The feeling was truly shocking.

Following the diagnosis I had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment, I took my drugs and I thought I would never have to worry about cancer again. Oh, how wrong I was!

In 2012, I got the all-clear and decided that I wanted to spend time travelling with my family. I was planning holidays and adventures for 2014 – it was so exciting. That is until my brother took his own life in 2013.

In another millisecond, my life changed forever. It felt like our family broke, and when things couldn’t get worse, five weeks after my brother tragically died, my mum passed away.

In 2014, exactly a year to the day after my brother took his life, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, with metastases in my lungs, liver and bones.

The second diagnosis was a turning point. I joined Cancer Support WA and learnt that there is more than one path up the mountain. Something about that saying stuck with me. I embraced complementary therapies, I changed my diet, and I learnt to meditate, live in the moment and to be mindful.

As it turned out, 2014 was a great year. After my six months of chemo, I went on a holiday with my daughter, sailed around the top of Australia with my family and learnt how to live in the moment.

I am grateful to be surrounded with love from my husband, my two children and my friends – their support and care drives me.

Every now and then I still see the black clouds, but I choose to let them pass me by, I choose to be positive and I choose to live my life the way that works for me.

Anthea, WA



Issue 80
Spring 2017