My name is Jackie and this is my story.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Locally Advanced Breast Cancer on the 30th Nov 2020, just 9 months after my beloved mother succumbed to wretched cancer.
It came as an absolute shock; to be young and so healthy and then hear the dreaded word CANCER. However, I am no stranger to cancer, since it has now stolen both my parents from me at a young age.
My treatment started at a rapid pace and within 9 days I was scanned, biopsied, diagnosed, scanned again, had an A-port placed and chemotherapy commenced.
I had very intense dose-dense chemotherapy for 20 weeks followed by a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and then 5 weeks of radiation. I am now undergoing hormonal blockade for the foreseeable future.
I didn’t know what had hit me. And while the treatment was going on, I found myself in pure survival mode. No time to even process what was actually happening to me.
The treatment has taken its toll on my body, and from being an extremely fit, high-altitude mountaineer, I’m now out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. It’s a big shock to have one’s body fail you. But I also know my body (and mind) have all the potential for complete healing!
But I have big mountains that I still plan to climb and cancer will not steal that from me!
Presently, I’m slowly finding my rhythm back at work, as a physiotherapist, and trying to forge a new relationship with my body and mind-set.
I have learned the importance about listening to my body and to never take my health for granted.
It’s one day at a time, but I’m optimistic about a happy and adventure-filled future!