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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Miranda's story

Monday, 23 October 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Miranda's story

“I’m 35 and my mum has a history of breast cancer so I’ve always been aware of my breasts. I found the lump about six weeks ago…. and two weeks later I had a mastectomy.”

For Sunnybank Hills mum of three Miranda, breast cancer was always on her radar but it didn’t make her own diagnosis any less of a shock.

Miranda was breastfeeding when she found the lump in her breast and made it a priority to see her doctor the next morning.

“That afternoon I went in in for a biopsy. Even when I called mum to say I’m having the biopsy… it was almost like we all knew,” Miranda recalls.

“On the Monday I saw the surgeon for a meeting and on the Friday I had my surgery. So it was very quick. They took my breast… but losing that wasn’t even a blip on the radar.”

Miranda has chemotherapy every three weeks at Mater Cancer Care Centre Brisbane. Her mum, Nancy, remembers the ritual far too well, having battled cancer twice at the same hospital.

“I was 18 when my mum had cancer the second time. It was sad to see mum go through that… I always said if mum had to go through it again I’d shave my head.”

Now, having treatment herself, Miranda has prepared her young children, aged six, four and two, for the visible changes to come, including losing her long hair.

“I told my four year old I’m going to get my hair cut short and funky like a pixie cut. Once they get me better, then I’ll worry about getting my hair and breasts back. But for now, my breasts served their purpose of feeding my beautiful children while they were babies.”

Despite Miranda’s positive disposition, she knows that her cancer will shift the way she looks at life forever.

“I’m used to being well. I’ve been pregnant with morning sickness and had colds and flus but I’ve always been well. Having this makes you look at other people and realise some people have illnesses – pain, mental illness, physical illness. I’ll be sick for a little time but I’ll get better.

“Your eyes open up a little bit. I’m less sympathetic but I’m more empathetic. I don’t feel sorry for them but I think it’s not easy. I’m shifting who I am.”

Miranda says like so many mums, her life before cancer was a busy blur.

“When I could enjoy my life, I wasn’t enjoying my life… bath the kids, get them fed, put their pyjamas on, clean the house, prepare for tomorrow. Life was a checklist. I’m trying to take more of those moments, like sitting next to the kids while they’re in the bath instead of saying ‘hurry up and get clean’.

“It’s not at all because I have a fatalistic view… but good things can come out of cancer, like learning to enjoy life and the little moments more.”

You can support women like Miranda, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by giving to the work of Mater Chicks in Pink at Mater Chicks in Pink are there for women with breast cancer at every step of their journey, by providing tangible support items like mastectomy bras and wigs as well as emotional support including counselling, yoga and art and music therapy.

Posted: 23/10/2017 4:01:40 PM by News @ Mater | with 0 comments

Tags: Breast Cancer, Mater Cancer Care Centre

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