The first thing you notice when you meet Glenda is her energy. Bright and charismatic, you can’t help but laugh along with her hilarious anecdotes. But behind all the laughter is a woman showing incredible strength by battling breast cancer every day.
Glenda was feeling a bit slow and tired, and put it down to being too busy. Glenda’s right nipple had inverted, however she didn’t think anything of it – her mother’s nipples were the same, and she thought it was genetic. It was only when her mother-in-law (who sadly passed away) visited her in a dream that she went to visit her GP.
My mother-in-law came to me in my dreams, saying ‘you must remember; I was tired.’
Glenda booked to see her GP straight away, who instructed her to get a mammogram. Straight after the scans were taken, the sonographer told Glenda she was going to have to go back to her doctor. It was then she knew that something was wrong.
I went to have a core biopsy and ultrasound, and they scanned my breast for an hour. I knew something wasn’t right – you could tell by the atmosphere in the room.
The Saturday after her biopsy and scan, Glenda heard the devastating news – she had breast cancer. Her GP booked her in to see Dr Corinne Jones, who Glenda met with the following week.
It all just came at me – bam, bam, bam. One day I was a bit tired, next thing Dr Corinne was telling me I had triple negative breast cancer.
Straight away Glenda went for surgery. She opted to have a mastectomy, removing her right breast. Unfortunately the surgery didn’t end there. The cancer spread into her lymph nodes, requiring removal shortly after her initial mastectomy. Glenda then opted to have her remaining left breast removed as well. Shortly after this surgery, she started on five months of chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy.
While Glenda had amazing family support, there were times when she needed to speak to someone else. She found Breast Cancer Care WA and was paired with Counsellor Jacqui, who has helped her unburden herself throughout her experience.
One of the hardest things was telling my two daughters. I had to ring them up and tell them ‘I’m sorry girls, I’ve got breast cancer.’
With 1,500 women and a handful of men estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in WA this year, the services Breast Cancer Care WA provide are vital to ensure those in need get the right support. Glenda hopes that by sharing her story, she will be able to encourage many more people to check their breasts.
If I talking to you helps one person, then this is a good thing.