My name is Linda and I am 61 years of age. In August 2021 I was diagnosed with left breast cancer. It was detected on a routine mammogram organized by Breast Screen at Shepparton.
Once diagnosed it was a whirlwind of medical procedures, from biopsy to two lumpectomies and axillary clearance and multiple staging scans. I am still waiting to have a mastectomy,
The diagnosis came out of the blue and left me feeling totally bewildered and overwhelmed. My biggest fear was telling my family and that I would not see my grandchildren grow. But I received amazing support from my husband, family and friends.
I had my first chemotherapy at GVH Shepparton and was lucky enough to have the remainder of treatment here in the day medical unit at Kyabram where I received amazing support from the medical and nursing staff. I felt safe, secure and they even made it fun a lot of the time. I also received great support from allied health staff at the hospital. I was never afraid as I trusted my medical and nursing teams.
I was worried about some of the chemotherapy side effects, outcomes and really hated losing my hair. However, I found ways to cope with any challenges I encountered due to my own positive attitude and by having wonderful supportive people around me. There were days I felt overwhelmed and lost as I faced a range of emotions. It was hard coping with body changes, volatile emotions and at times feeling like I have no control over my own life. But I found an inner strength and ways to keep coping while still enjoying my life.
I still have challenges to face but am so grateful that I had my mammogram which led to the earliest detection of my breast cancer. I strongly encourage everyone to be proactive regarding your health. Know your families medical history, learn how to do breast self-examinations, have your mammogram and if you feel something is wrong trust your gut and follow it up with your GP.
Thank you for sharing in my story and once again please be aware and check your boobs.