Tanya, Brisbane


Name: Tanya

cancer:  Invasive Carcinoma NST (Breast Cancer),  Stage 2b grade 2 ER+ PR+ HER2- 

Date Diagnosed:  2017

Location: Queensland 

My story is as follows. 

What did you get for your 40th birthday? I got breast cancer. 

For the few months leading up to my diagnosis, I experienced an intense itch on my left breast and an intense deep heat ache inside my left breast. I couldn’t wear a bra as it was too uncomfortable but I kept ignoring it as my Dr said it was just a breast infection. 

I was just too busy (mum of 3 boys, wife, full time work and part time university) to stop and take notice as we were also moving my mother in law into palliative care.  She was terminally ill from cancer. 

Fast forward to June 3rd 2017 (my 40th birthday) and I was extremely sick and not getting better. This is when I discovered my lump. I went for a thermogram and it was evident that something was wrong. So I pushed for a mammogram and ultrasound which was July 3rd 2017 (my 13th wedding anniversary). 

My mammogram was clear however my ultrasound found a tumour. I had 4 core biopsies done all on the same day. July 5th 2017 my world crumbled as I was told I had invasive carcinoma (breast cancer). I had a lumpectomy + sentinel node biopsy which showed my lymph nodes were involved. I went back in for full axillary clearance which came back clear. 

This was followed by 4 out of 6 cycles of chemotherapy which was cut short due to severe anaphylactic reaction which nearly killed me. My mother in law lost her battle with cancer the day before my 4th chemo cycle which was postponed a week due to these circumstances. This was the 13th Nov 2017, my eldest son's grade 12 formal was 17th Nov 2017, My mother in law's funeral was 20th Nov and my 4th chemo was 21st Nov. Very hard month for our family. 

This was followed by 30 sessions of radiation, a full hysterectomy (ovaries, tubes, uterus and cervix) due to a variant in the BRCA2 gene and now 8 years on, a hormone blocker due to hormone positive breast cancer. I could not work throughout my active treatment and still unable to due to ongoing side effects. It's been a very tough journey and still is extremely tough. 

I wouldn't wish this on anybody.

Breast Cancer Network Australia

 If you would like more information on Breast cancer