Janine, NSW – I have just passed 12-month mark since diagnosis

February 11th, 2014

In the 12 months leading up to my diagnosis I had two ultrasounds which turned out to be nothing more than sebaceous cysts. After feeling what I thought was another large cyst coming up, I didn’t rush to the doctors but waited unil my next visit which was almost six weeks later.

After visiting the doctor I booked in for a mammogram and ultrasound, at this time I was one month short of my 39th birthday. After having the tests done I knew then and there that it was no cyst this time as I was asked to wait for my results and go straight to my GP.

I got my results and returned to work as I wanted to see my GP and wanted my husband with me when I received the news. It was actually the first time ever I didn’t open my own results. Inevitably I received the news that would turn our lives upside down, ‘Sorry Janine but you have breast cancer’.

Even though I knew what news I was getting it was still a smack in the face and the tears were rolling. Even my doctor shed a tear. The hardest thing I had to do was going home and telling my girls – of course it was an emotional evening for all. My next hurdle was to tell my son who was living overseas at the time…telling him by Skype was the worst.

What was to come was a whirlwind of appointments, tests, scans and information. I was given a surgery date and things were happening. On my next appointment at the breast cancer clinic I was given the news that would once again turn our world upside down. My cancer had spread to my liver.

In the space of two weeks I have gone from a definite plan of attack to not knowing how long I had left to live.

I was stage 4 and would no longer be having surgery but instead starting chemo treatment. I had 5.5 out of 10 rounds of chemotherapy; I had a severe reaction on my last treatment so it had to be stopped.

Today I have Herceptin every three weeks and am happy to say that I no longer have a tumour in my breast or lymph nodes and the three mets in my liver have shrunk to a quarter of the size they originally were.

I have just passed the 12-month mark since diagnosis and thought it was something to celebrate. If I could give anyone some advice in relation to breast cancer it would be that the power of positive thinking is an amazing thing. Fight your fight with positivity, surround yourself with love and happiness and live for the now.