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Renuka (Triple-Positive Breast Cancer Survivor)

Renuka (Triple-Positive Breast Cancer Survivor)

It all started with breast pain

At age 42, in 2020, I was diagnosed with triple-positive breast cancer. I am a working mom living in Australia. Having a wonderful family, I was fully occupied with my job, household chores, and managing the family. Initially, I started experiencing pain in my left breast once in a while. It was severe but did not last more than 10 or 20 seconds. I consulted my doctor. He did a blood test, mammogram, and scan, but the report came back negative. After a month, I noticed a slight white discharge from my left breast during a routine check-up. I consulted the doctor, but he said it might be because of the menstrual cycle or menopause. The doctor prescribed me medicine for three months.

Again, after a month, I noticed a slight colourful discharge from my breast pain during a routine check-up. This time I was worried. A small lump of 1.2 mm was found in my breast in an ultrasound.

Treatment and side effects

After diagnosis, doctor conducted a biopsy immediately and started treatment. But I soon found that treatment was more challenging than I had anticipated in addition to undergoing a mastectomy (a surgery to remove all of the breasts), I had bone pain from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Radiation gave me blisters and burns. There were several side effects of chemotherapy also. During this whole journey, my husband was with me. As we stayed far away from our home, we decided not to disclose it. It was corona time, so no one could come to help us, and they will be terrified. My husband was the only support for me throughout this journey.

Diet and Lifestyle changes

Before being diagnosed with cancer, I lived an effortless life, careless about myself. My life rotated around my husband, family, kids and job. But cancer changed my life. I started taking care of myself. I shifted to plant-based food. I am occasionally drinking. I do walk, exercise and meditation regularly. Meditation helped me cope with stress and the side effects of treatment. I take my food on time.

Faith, hope and love

I was devastated after receiving this news. Then I connected with some support groups and met so many people in the hospital during treatment. It gave me courage. I stopped cursing myself. I always had only one question in my mind: why me? What wrong had I done that I had to go through all these things? But later, I realized that many people had bigger problems than me. We should always hope for the best. I am stronger than my pain. We should never lose hope.

Message for others

Never lose hope. Fight back. Nothing is stronger than your pain. Love yourself. We are fortunate to have a life. Some people do not have this much also. Nothing is impossible if you decide.

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