Every year over 100,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer. That’s 100,000 individuals and their family and friends who are living with and have their lives impacted by cancer in some shape or form.
Tracey Gorman is just one Australian mum of 4 boys who has had her life impacted by cancer. At a little over five months into her pregnancy with her fourth son, Tracey was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Unable to undergo treatment while she was pregnant, once her son Isaac was born, Tracey underwent successful laser treatment to remove the cancer and life with her four children returned to normal. However the following year when her baby boy was just 17 months old, Tracey found a painful lump at the top of her right breast.
Initially Tracey dismissed the lump thinking it was just her body adjusting after she had finished breast feeding her son. However after visiting her GP to get the lump checked out, Tracey was referred onto a specialist who found another lump which she never even knew existed. A subsequent biopsy determined Tracey had advanced Breast Cancer – she was just 36 years old.
Tracey remembers the moment she received the news of her second cancer diagnosis,
I remember I had dropped the boys off at school & I had a preschool meeting for my 3rd son – the meeting was fantastic, saying how great he is, ready for school etc – I was on a real high when I headed home. I walked in & my husband was in the kitchen – “what are you doing” I asked as he was always in the office he said” um um um the doctor called” & I just knew from the look on his face that the results were bad. I can still hear his words – “you have breast cancer” I remember physically shaking … NO .. No WAY!!!
Tracey’s breast cancer was much more advanced than at first thought and it had already spread to her lymph nodes and initially her prognosis was not looking bright. Tracey’s diagnosis was the start of a yearlong journey which involved multiple operations, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, illness, hair loss and the loss of her breast, thankfully she responded well to the treatment and has been cancer free for over 15 years.
Along with suffering the physical side effects of her cancer treatment, Tracey also suffered battles with her self-confidence due to the changes to her body, but thankfully her strength and determination shone through “It takes a lot of time but you need to love yourself first and say this is me now, the biggest hurdle is yourself.”
Tracey is not alone in her battle against Cancer. In Australia a staggering 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer before the age of 85. Cancer Council NSW is committed to helping educate and support Australians regardless of the type of cancer they have. They are also passionate about educating people on cancer prevention, as we can make simple and easy changes to our everyday lives to help reduce the risks, which is important when you consider 30% of all cancers are preventable. To help maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent your risk of cancer you can:
- Quit Smoking
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight
- Maintain a regular exercise plan
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
This Mother’s Day why not give a gift for all Australian mum’s by donating to Cancer Council NSW. By giving Mum a personalised eGift Card, not only are you help raising awareness and much needed funds for support and research, but you will also be helping the thousands of Australian’s touched by cancer every single day.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Cancer Council