Recently in the Drive Show Bondi spoke to local mum Emma about her experience going through Breast Cancer. She shares her story:
“It’s not something that you think would ever happen to you, especially as a 34 year old with a young family, and fit and healthy as well, no real health problems.
I regularly do my self examinations. At Christmas time last year I checked myself and I found a lump and I didn’t say anything because it was right around Christmas time, plus I actually didn’t think it was going to be anything.
After Christmas I went to the GP, she checked it and thought it was nothing, or could be nothing, and sent me for an ultrasound anyway. I got into the ultrasound, and they found a second lump. I knew when she left the room to go and talk to the doctor that it was cancer, I didn’t know for sure, but in my gut I knew it was going to be cancer.
So on the spot (the doctor) sent me straight for a mammogram, I came out and called Wade my husband and burst into tears. They booked me in for some biopsies on the Friday of that week and I had to wait 4 days before I got the results, and that was the longest waiting period of my life, it was torture.
Both the lumps they found were malignant.
Just complete shock, (I was) completely overwhelmed.
I felt like we had to be strong for our kids, because they’re only 2, 5 and 7, I didn’t want them to be too worried about it. Breaking the news to all of our friends was really difficult but we were strengthened because of them, because of their love.
Then we had to see a surgeon and in an MRI they found a third lump.
I just wanted the cancer out.
We were very very lucky that I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy, I was very lucky not to have to have radiation, so I did see a lot of silver linings through the whole thing; realising I was at my fittest and healthiest, we had 3 beautiful children and weren’t planning on having any more, I have family and friends close. The hardest thing was that I had to lose a part of myself, completely unexpectedly.
But I think also the timing was best now, rather than later when it’s harder to recover from it.
When I was diagnosed, I was at my fittest and healthiest, I guess it’s never a good time but if there was such a thing as a good time to get this kind of cancer, it was good timing.
My want through all of this, and I questioned this the whole time, not necessarily why did I get this but what can I do because I’ve got this? and one of the things I want to do is raise awareness, and raise funds for the early detection of breast cancer.
Because I put it out there when I found out I had cancer, I told people, one close relative checked herself and found a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer as well. So even if it was just her finding that early enough and that’s the reason why I had to go through this to raise awareness, maybe it was worth it.
I just want women – young and old – to check, to realise the importance of it. Because if I hadn’t of found it I don’t know what could have happened, it could have turned out much worse than it did.”
Stay up to date with Emma
Emma’s Facebook Group: Go Pink with Emma
Donations toward early detection of breast cancer https://fundraise.nbcf.org.au/fundraiser/emmamckeown
Listen to the full interview here.