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raised of $3,500 goal
Last year my life was changed forever when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Unfortunately, I was no stranger to Breast Cancer, it had already had a huge and devastating impact on my life. My Mum was diagnosed at just 32 years old. She passed away only two years later, when I was 13. I knew resilience long before any young girl should and have carried on through life with a tough exterior and can-do attitude. I've been quietly battling the war on cancer for decades, and now I'm rallying to raise money for this war. Over a year on from my diagnosis, I'm now at the point where I am starting to accept and embrace the new me, both mentally and physically. The old me is still inside, but I come with some new skills and a slightly different take on life. I feel so incredibly grateful to have my husband, Tim, who has stood by my side with unwavering support, often to the detriment of himself, and I know he will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. Words can't express how lucky I am to have Henry. He is my shining light and truly kept me going, through the past year especially. I had a retreat in an Otis Foundation property in October last year. It was amazing and just what I needed to relax and reset after my chemo finished. I've always loved walking, and I have just started walking again now that I'm feeling better. I've found that when I'm walking, I don't notice my medication side effects as much and the walking also helps me better manage those side effects daily. A few weeks ago, I saw the Otis Foundation post on Facebook about joining them for a trek to raise money. I thought this is a sign! I need to do this walk, not only to raise money for the foundation and thank them for the wonderful work they do, but as a personal goal to stay moving. It's also going to bring awareness to the Otis Foundation, which hopefully, in turn, will help the lives of more women going through breast cancer. Please keep scrolling to read more of my story in the posts below.
August 26, 2020
Thank you for coming to read my story. I wanted to share a little more about my journey…

(Part 1)

With the extensive family history of Breast Cancer, I have always been extremely proactive with my health. From the age of 27, I began having annual breast scans, and after the birth of my Son, Henry, it was stepped up to 6 monthly due to hormonal increases during pregnancy. In May 2019, I had just returned to work following a year of maternity leave when I got called back in to have a biopsy.
August 26, 2020
(Part 2)

The 5th of June 2019 is a day I'll never forget. I went to a specialist appointment to get the biopsy results and was advised to bring a significant other with me. This was the day I got my Breast Cancer diagnosis. The Cancer was aggressive but small and caught early. All testing indicated that we needed to take a more aggressive approach, and so I began chemotherapy. The chemo took place every 3 weeks over 3 months.
August 26, 2020
(Part 3)

My body took a beating from the chemotherapy, but I focussed on getting through it and being present for Henry. He was often unwell himself having just started childcare but was showing his own resilience in that he didn't let what was happening to me affect him. He was happy just being around me and would have a good chuckle at whatever colourful headscarf I was wearing that day (my hair began falling out after the first round of chemo).
August 26, 2020
(Part 4)

The next step was meeting with a plastic surgeon in Melbourne, and the advice was that I needed to have these “ticking time bombs” removed so a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction (all done in one operation) was booked in. The operation took place on the 19th of November that year, and it was a massive surgery and horrific to go through.
August 26, 2020
(Part 5)

Immediately after surgery, I felt deep regret that I had undertaken the operation as I was in so much intense pain, and I felt it would never ease. I quickly reminded myself of my beautiful boy, Henry and the fact that this surgery would allow me to watch him grow, and he wouldn't lose me as I had lost my own Mother. I have since gone in for another small operation and may need to go back for more, but it's a wait-and-see approach at this stage.
August 26, 2020
(Part 6)

But now that chemotherapy and surgery are complete, the next best thing I can do to suppress re-occurrence is to block Estrogen and Progestogen from being produced in my body. So that's where I am now, I take a tablet daily, and I have an injection every month for the next 10 years to suppress my hormones. The side effects are nothing short of horrible, but I will do whatever necessary to stop it from coming back.

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