Home Women’s Cancer Breast cancer survivor’s plea: ‘Give us our mammograms’

Breast cancer survivor’s plea: ‘Give us our mammograms’

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Sarah Kane never knows for sure whether her previous diagnosis may have changed her breast cancer journey. But the same twins and two mothers, who waited five months for the mammogram due to Covid’s delay, do everything to avoid others living with these questions.

according to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Sarah is one of more than 50,000 kiwi women who were unable to participate in regular breast screening due to the blockade of Covid-19 and associated delays. The 49-year-old Oakland originally booked in May 2020, but her appointments were rescheduled many times, and she was finally seen in late September.

“I jokingly said,’Well, I hope I don’t have cancer.’ But it didn’t worry me. There was no reason to believe it wasn’t a normal result. “I’ve been receiving mammograms every year since I was 40, says Sarah, who has no history of breast cancer in her family.

Surprisingly, a few days later, Sarah received an urgent request to return for further testing. Her worst horror was confirmed – breast cancer. Three weeks later she underwent resection surgery
It was a 15 mm grade 2 tumor and, thankfully, had not spread to the lymph nodes.

Twelve months of debilitating fatigue continued as Sarah was exposed to radiation and fought against ongoing effects such as lymphedema (swelling of the arms and legs) and hormonal agents. She was bedridden with fatigue on a regular basis.

She said she was surprised at how challenging it was, and she had a hard time giving up walking and Pilates.

“It was really hard to be very active and lacking any energy. When I first got back to work, all I could do was go to work, go home, sleep and recover on the weekends. was. .”

Mentally Sarah is still alive with the fear of recurrence, but life is slowly returning to normal. Her energy levels are rising and she loves to exercise again and return to her job as a regional manager for Qantas.

“My job is really fulfilling,” she shares. “Since December, I have traveled a lot and are preparing for an international reopening. It was a wonderful experience that really helped me move from illness to health.”

But a devoted mother never forgets to talk to her family about the devastation of her diagnosis.

“I decided to turn the world into a boom after completing the mammogram according to my schedule,” said twin sister Megan and daughters Jesse (26) and Bailey (23) desperately struggling. Sara recalls. In the news.

“I was really sick of causing them that pain,” she says. “It upset me the most, how much it hurt them.”

However, a close family gathered together to live with her husband Matt (56) and her family friend Jenna Treadwell (23), and their support, considered their third daughter, is her. She says it is invaluable for recovery.

She said, “They did everything around the house without expecting me. They are also very moral support and sometimes take me to a really complete and horrifying promise. I did. ”

Jesse lives in Australia, but Bailey and Jenna are so supportive of Sarah that they both take a break from work and stay with her. WeeklyPhoto shoot.

This experience encouraged them all to be more positive about their health. After extensive testing to assess risk factors for breast cancer, Sarah’s children plan to begin annual screening at the age of 30.

During Covid’s lockdown, breast screening at Aotearoa was stopped. This means that according to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, 300 women may have missed a diagnosis and treatment.

Screening has resumed, but if we don’t take immediate action, the Foundation believes catch-up is too late for many. That’s why we’re calling on the government to commit $ 15 million to urgently clear the mammogram backlog.

Sarah felt forced to share her story after receiving such amazing support from the Foundation.

“I wanted to speak up because I felt that I was at a disadvantage to stop screening. I found out that there are people out there who aren’t as lucky as I am to get a terminal diagnosis or not have access to what I need. It’s really annoying, “she says.

“What is certain is that I saved my life because I didn’t feel it myself where there was a tumor on the chest wall behind the nipple.”

In retrospect, the exciting survivor says she learned some valuable lessons.

“Between cancer and Covid, it really taught me about resilience and acceptance. I don’t stress things right now. If I can’t change it, I’ll give it I accept, “says Sara. “It made me understand what really matters. I just know every opportunity to come my way.”

** How can you help?
#GiveUsOurMammograms is a new initiative by the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ calling for urgent action and increased funding to restore breast screening after Covid-19. This campaign encourages you to take a picture of yourself with the #GiveUsOurMammograms poster and upload it to. giveusourmammograms.nz. The Foundation will then collate these and provide them to the government. ** **

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