On June the 19th, 2013, I had my first free mammogram with BreastScreen NSW at Gosford Hospital. At 51, I’d been entitled to a free test for over a year. The month before, while I was travelling with my daughter, I’d noticed a dull pain in my left breast. Nothing much. I thought I might have strained a muscle lifting my luggage. When the pain kept recurring I commented to my husband that I should probably have it checked, but I wasn’t particularly worried about it. When the letter came in the mail offering me a free breast screen I thought it was good timing.
On Wednesday the 10th of July 2013 my husband and I were informed that I had a ‘more unusual and aggressive’ triple negative breast cancer. I’d never heard of it. I didn’t even know there were different types of breast cancer. I had three tumours which became four within two weeks. My tumours were doubling in size every three weeks.
Since then I’ve kept writing and learning and sharing my ideas, thoughts and experiences. After neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, two ‘breast conserving’ surgeries, and six weeks of radiation therapy my one year scans detected something suspicious and pathology post surgically picked up 1mm invasive cancer. On the 8th of August 2014 I had a bilateral mastectomy.
My focus now is on staying well, staying on top of the research into triple negative breast cancer and enjoying my life. This is my bonus time. Without a series of very fortunate events I wouldn’t be here at all.
When I started this blog I called it ‘Positive3negative’ because I thought it was important to stay positive during treatment. If you start at the beginning you’ll read all about how I did that. If you’re more interested in prevention or staying well after cancer treatment then skip ahead to the more current posts.
Thank your for joining me. I hope you find some useful advice, inspiration or humour in my writing. It’s always wonderful when someone writes to tell me that they’ve found this blog helpful in their own fight against this horrible disease, or that it’s helped them to understand what a friend or family member has gone through. If I don’t reply it’s because I was busy in the garden, or painting, or otherwise enjoying life.