Soulful Survivor Sisters

Louise is a 44 year old woman who self-referred to Breast Cancer Care WA to receive counselling support following her breast cancer diagnosis. She had been experiencing ‘lumpy’ breasts for the previous 12-24 months, but discovered that a lump in her left breast was becoming larger, with itchiness and discolouration around her left nipple. Louise saw her GP who organised for her to undergo investigations at one of the metropolitan Breast Assessment Centres, where the results revealed she did have breast cancer.

At the surgical planning appointment, Louise was initially advised that she would be a suitable candidate for breast conserving surgery, however, her breast surgeon recommended that she undergo further testing and have an MRI, to learn more about the breast cancer. This changed the course of events for her; it was discovered that Louise’s cancer was quite significantly larger than first thought, so her suggested surgical plan was changed to removal of the entire breast.

Louise felt that the reason behind this change in suggested surgery was explained very clearly to her, however, it was the rapidity of this change that caused her significant emotional distress, as she felt that she had so little time to adjust to the idea of losing her breast. Louise went on to have her mastectomy and a course of chemotherapy, followed by hormone therapy medication.

Breast Cancer Care WA provided counselling, Breast Care Nursing support as well as transport to some of her appointments, which Louise found very helpful during this challenging period. All of Louise’s extended family live in Queensland, however, her mum and her sister did come over to Perth to provide some much needed support during the initial stages of her diagnosis and treatment.

Louise completed all of her active treatment in May 2017 and then decided to head over to Queensland to spend some quality time with her family which then hanged into a permanent relocation! In the few weeks between her last chemotherapy treatment and travelling over East, Louise decided to design T-shirts to gift to the people who had provided support to her during her treatment. Our McGrath Breast Care Nurse Di and one of our lovely volunteers, Anjali, were proud recipients of these gorgeous t-shirts.

It was totally unexpected, but very much appreciated, and is certainly something which I will treasure, as a reminder of Louise and the challenges she has had to work through since her breast cancer diagnosis