Eleonore’s cancer journey was highly unexpected. She was playing sport 3 times a week, riding her bike to work every day and eating healthily. There were no health triggers like fatigue or physical signs like a noticeable lump that she felt.

It all started with a routine check up at the GP. Eleonore had just celebrated her 40th Birthday and the doctor mentioned that she should go and get a free mammogram as the service is available for anyone over the age of 40.

‘I’m a busy mum and I don’t often have time to prioritise myself first, it is always everyone else in the house and then if I have time I will do something for myself. But I thought yes, sure, I will do this for myself.’

Eleonore went along for the mammogram and didn’t think too much about it. She was planning a big trip overseas with her family to return to France as she hadn’t seen her parents for such a long time due to Covid.

She decided to call to find out the results as she was due to fly out in less than a week. The lady mentioned that they would like her to come in to get retested (which is quite common after your very first mammogram). Not thinking too much off it Eleonore came in to get another mammogram.

From there, everything happened so fast. The mammogram was followed by a scan followed by a biopsy. And then was told she had a 7cm tumour that needed to be removed straight away.

Eleonore was in total shock, not only about having found out she had breast cancer and having to go in for surgery, but her plans also to travel overseas indefinitely with her family were in disarray.

Initially Eleonore was told that her cancer was one of the easier cases and just needed to be removed; however after surgery, the tumour was more aggressive than first thought and now Eleonore needed chemotherapy and radiation.

Feeling alone and isolated in the chemo ward and not allowed to have any visitors due to Covid, her cancer surgeon put her in touch with Breast Cancer Care WA and next thing she received a beautiful phone call from one of our breast care nurses, Maria.

‘Maria has always been there for me. She is my ‘jiminy cricket’, the nice voice in my head, always reassuring me and providing me with unbiased advice and full of wonderful recommendations. Every time I felt distressed or if there was something I wasn’t sure about I would contact Maria. I felt like I could totally trust her, she made me feel safe and secure. Maria was like a Shiva with so many arms, she helped me with all aspects of my treatment and beyond.’

Not only did Maria help provide advice and guidance about all aspects of her cancer, they also shared a common interest in cooking which really helped to lighten the mood and create a wonderful connection.