I don't have time for breast cancer | PERSONAL STORY

We ponder the ‘Why me?’ no matter how old we are. Cancer is crap!

My story started when I turned 40, I found a lump in my breast. I had a mammogram and there was no concern. Phew!

Then nine months later I discovered that the same lump had grown and there was also a lump in my armpit. I had a mammogram and ultrasound again. Nothing of concern showed up, but to just double-check, the doctor suggested to catch up with a surgeon. My cancer didn’t show up on the mammograms and ultrasounds, but we could feel it. By the time I had a MRI the cancer was about 6 cm long and I had two lumps in lymph nodes – my cancer was sneaky.

I didn’t have time for this. My youngest son had just started school, I had just gone back to study and was thinking about me again and it was so nice. I didn’t have time for it.

Now, a year and four months after my diagnosis, I am a stronger person in so many ways. I am proud of the person I have become and how I dealt with my roller-coaster cancer journey.

I only focused on the positive. Chemotherapy treatment days were changed to ‘treat’ days and 28 new tubes of watercolour paint followed my 28 days of radiation. Too exciting!

Every night before I went to bed I would think about something exciting I was going to do the next day. Most of the time it was simple things like painting a picture, but it allowed me to think of the good and most importantly to sleep with happy thoughts, rather than dwelling over what was really happening in my and our family’s life.

Going through such a significant life change, you really filter out what and who are not important in your life. I now only surround myself with people that make me feel good. I only do what makes me happy, and the simplest things in life are of greater importance.

I really have reflected on myself, who I am and what I want to do. And I have learnt to be kinder to myself; as we don’t have to do everything yesterday as thankfully there is always tomorrow.

Katie, VIC

Katie with her sons Ben, Jack and Max

Katie with her sons Ben, Jack and Max

Issue 80
Spring 2017