I am Alison Kathleen Newsome, 28 years old, and this is my story....
I found a lump in my right breast on the 5th of March 2023. I had cysts before but I remember almost feeling faint and almost having a panic attack about this one, but I believed I was overreacting and only went to my GP on the 3rd of April 2023. He didn't like the feel of it and booked me in with a breast surgeon the next day and she took a biospy. It came back as suspicious for malignancy, but I was told not to worry and they would cut it out. I had a wide excision surgery in April 2023.
The biospy of the lump came back as triple negative. I was advised in May 2023 that I was stage 3. I had been sent to the public sector because I didn't have medical aid. They were planning on doing a radical mastectomy. I didn't get much information out of them and was belittled and treated badly for questioning them. If I'm honest my gut told me this wasn't right. I reached out to my original breast surgeon and she helped me, advising me that not going onto chemo straight away could be dangerous. Another lump had also popped up in my other breast. I started a bit of a war, but thankfully with the advice from multiple Doctors, Cancer Alliance and the help of my parents, I switched from public back to the private sector.
I went through 4 rounds AC and 4 rounds of Taxol. I rang the bell on the 27th of October 2023 and was getting ready for surgery which would have been on the 20th of November 2023. I went for a CT scan on the 1st of November 2023.
7th of November 2023, I was informed that we had been misinformed by the public sector. I was never Stage 3 but Stage 4 which spread to my liver and bones.
Chemo did it's thing and did seem to destroy most of the cancer just a bit left in my liver and hip. I still plan to continue to fight this beast and start my next phase of treatment soon.
My courage comes from my parents, family, friends ,the staff at cancercare, Lizelle Knott, Julie De Jongh and my amazing team of ladies from Bend Wellness Centre, House of Fitness and Satori Wellness.
There needs to be awareness that breast cancer can happen to young women and screening needs to start happening in our 20s rather then 40s!
Who am I today? I'm still getting my head wrapped around this if I'm honest but it's definitely made me look at the world a little differently. I stressed far too much about the small stuff. I also have a nice fire inside of me not to only fight this fight... but help change the healthcare system. Things need to change when it comes to the public sector. Every patient has a right to feel safe with their team and understand their diagnosis and treatment.
My favourite quote and it's actually one of my tattoos:-
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light"