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Gaylene’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Gaylene's Story Breast CancerOne year ago today, cancer changed my life! I received the most devastating news I could ever have imagined. In a tiny office, I was awaiting the biopsy results from a week ago, and the specialist walked in and just came out with it: You have cancer. “This can’t be true,” I said to my daughter, Dani, “This just can’t be true…”

“It’ll be ok, mum. We’ll get through this,” she said. As a control freak with OCD–or CDO as I like it alphabetically arranged–I have come to realize there is very little in life that we do have control over, apart from our attitude. What would have devastated me in the past–worrying whether people liked me, worrying what others thought about me–no longer does! The power of the mind!

Throughout this battle of the past year and looking at the long road still in front of me, I have found peace in this struggle. And along the way, I have gained an understanding of what so many others in this world are dealing with: the dreaded C-word! Dead set, it’s the thing I hate most in life! I have never prayed so much and allowed others to pray for me as well. The day that doctor told me I had cancer, my life changed forever. That day, I started my fight for life! I had to allow myself to be in others’ hands and to take charge of myself with a strong, positive outlook! F*** you, Cancer! You won’t win this fight!

Now after 12 months, with 3 surgeries, 8 double rounds of chemo, the loss of all my hair, and 30 rounds of radiation all behind me, and while taking this dreaded daily tablet, I’ll never give up! I lost my dad just over a year ago, as well as my beloved grandma, and more recently, a true good mate to cancer. I promised Ian that I’d never ever give up or stop living life!

If you’re reading this, I can only hope it brings a whole new understanding and awareness to you. Two words: EARLY DETECTION! I’m aware that my whole treatment and life would be so different if I didn’t detect early. With this, I have the ability to dream that I may live a much longer and more meaningful life, one I look forward to and treasure as a gift and not as a given. Looking back, I never thought or imagined I’d ever make it through some of those dark days! Pain like I’d never dreamt of, and moments of feeling like I was being punished and the whole world was against me.

With the support of my loving partner, Les, some very, very special people in my life, my wonderful job for keeping me and my ever-active mind busy, and the support of breast cancer sites, I did make it through! Reading so many other inspiring journeys along the way, I have become a much stronger woman than I ever gave myself credit for. I just did what I had to do! I have 5 beautiful children, and I wish to continue to watch them grow into the amazing adults they are.

I fought like a girl! It’s amazing how strong you can be when you have to be! Thank you, Sharyn, for reminding me of this countless times when I just needed someone to understand and listen.
Why do I share my journey? Well, if just one person thinks, “Because of you, I didn’t give up,” then that’s one more person that kicks cancer’s ass!!!

Gaylene
Australia
Submitted 06/25/2015

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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One comment

  1. You are so inspiring. I am so glad that you are doing well. It sounds like you have a great support system to get you through.

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