A TRUE WOMAN WARRIOR - KELLY'S STORY

My name is Kelly and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 when I was 31. I still remember vividly sitting in the doctors office with my husband and my 18month old daughter and hearing those words “I’m sorry. It’s breast cancer”. I sat there watching my happy smiling girl who was completely oblivious to the shit storm that was about to change our lives. And my first thought was, what if I don’t get to see her grow up. I turned to my husband and simply said well let’s start fighting this now.

I underwent a mastectomy and discovered it had spread to the sentinal lymph node, so then had a total lymph clearance. The hardest part of these surgeries was not being able to pick up or hug my daughter. I then did IVF to freeze embryos because there was no way in hell I was going to let cancer rob me of my dream baby. I also did genetic testing as my maternal grandmother and paternal aunt where both breast cancer survivors. The results came back inconclusive. So no gene mutations were found.

Then came the chemo. 6 months of hell. It pushed me to breaking point but we got through it. I then started on Tamoxifen which caused an array of side effects, but I focused on the big picture and got on with enjoying life with a 2 year old.

Consulting with my oncologist and breast care team in late 2016, I came off Tamoxifen and underwent an array of scans and tests.  Very fortunately, I was able to fall pregnant naturally a few months later. The pregnancy was very tough as I was not really prepared for the body changes. I had one super boob and a big bump. I avoided the mirror at all costs. I had my dream baby in November 2017.

Whilst it has been a rough few years, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Breast cancer has shown me how strong I am. It has taught me to really appreciate the little things like dancing in the kitchen to 80’s music with my 4yr old or rocking my sleeping 8month old in the chair for what seems like hours! I am a better person because of it.