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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Miranda's story

Friday, 13 October 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Miranda's story
 
“I’m 35 and my mum has a history of breast cancer so I’ve always been aware of my breasts. I found the lump about six weeks ago…. and two weeks later I had a mastectomy.”
 
For mum of three Miranda, breast cancer was always on the radar but it didn’t make the diagnosis any less of a shock.
 
Miranda was breastfeeding when she found the lump in her breast and made it a priority to see her doctor the next morning.
 
“That afternoon I went in in for a biopsy. Even when I called mum to say I’m having the biopsy… it was almost like we all knew,” Miranda recalls.
 
 “On the Monday I saw the surgeon for a meeting and on the Friday I had my surgery. So it was very quick. They took my breast… but losing that wasn’t even a blip on the radar.”
 
Miranda has chemotherapy every three weeks at Mater Cancer Care Centre South Brisbane. Her mum, Nancy, remembers the ritual far too well, having battled cancer twice at the same hospital.
 
“I was 18 when my mum had cancer the second time. It was sad to see mum go through that… I always said if mum had to go through it again I’d shave my head.”
 
Now, having treatment herself, Miranda has prepared her young children, aged six, four and two, for the visible changes to come, including losing her long hair.
 
“I told my four year old I’m going to get my hair cut short and funky like a pixie cut. Once they get me better, then I’ll worry about getting my hair and breasts back. But for now, my breasts served their purpose of feeding my beautiful children while they were babies.”
 
Despite Miranda’s positive disposition, she knows that her cancer will shift the way she looks at life forever.
 
“I’m used to being well. I’ve been pregnant with morning sickness and had colds and flus but I’ve always been well. Having this makes you look at other people and realise some people have illnesses – pain, mental illness, physical illness. I’ll be sick for a little time but I’ll get better.
 
“Your eyes open up a little bit. I’m less sympathetic but I’m more empathetic. I don’t feel sorry for them but I think it’s not easy. I’m shifting who I am.”
 
Miranda says like so many mums, her life before was a busy blur.
 
“When I could enjoy my life, I wasn’t enjoying my life… bath the kids, get them fed, put their pyjamas on, clean the house, prepare for tomorrow. Life was a checklist. I’m trying to take more of those moments, like sitting next to the kids while they’re in the bath instead of saying ‘hurry up and get clean’.
 
“It’s not at all because I have a fatalistic view… but good things can come out of cancer, like learning to enjoy life and the little moments more.”
 
October, Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, provides an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.
 
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.
 
Take the time this month to find out what you need to know about breast awareness and share this important information with your family, friends and colleagues.
 
Posted: 13/10/2017 9:32:52 AM by Amy Schostakowski | with 0 comments

Tags: Breast Cancer, Mater Cancer Care Centre

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