“I was shocked to be diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. 

I’m a keen runner and last September, after a run, I felt an unusual pain in my hip. I assumed it was from running and tried resting it and then turned to physio when it didn't improve.  Little did I know that it was a fractured pelvis, the result of cancer spreading to my bones. It wasn’t until the following January that I experienced a sharp pain around my ribs.  It was such an unusual pain that I made a mental note to check my boobs the next time I showered.  I couldn't feel anything in the shower but remembered someone saying you don't always feel a lump in the shower, and to check when lying down - I did and thought I could possibly feel something but wasn’t sure as it was so small.

I mentioned it to a friend and to my sister and they advised me to get it checked out by my GP. I ignored it for a while but eventually made an appointment with my GP who didn't seem concerned but sent me for a non-urgent referral just to be on the safe side. I went for my appointment at the hospital. Again, on initial inspection the doctor didn't seem concerned but sent me for a mammogram and ultra sound. The ultra sound showed a lump in my breast and lymph node and they took a biopsy of both then and there. The doctor was surprised about the biopsy but again reassured me it didn't mean it was breast cancer. I waited over two weeks for my results and in that time I'd convinced myself it couldn't be breast cancer as it had taken so long to get back to me.  However, not only was it breast cancer but it had spread to the lymph nodes and after further scans it turned out it was metastatic.

I’m currently going through chemotherapy; I’ve had five rounds so far. Following the good news that my tumour has responded well to the chemotherapy and has shrunk, I’m now waiting for a date for my lumpectomy surgery and radiotherapy.

While I am undergoing treatment, I am forever grateful for the sessions of complementary therapy that are available to me through Breast Cancer Haven. With no nausea or major side effects after my first two cycles of chemo, I thought I was going to sail through all six cycles. But I wasn't so lucky after the third. To help me prepare for rounds five and six, I have tried to schedule a shiatsu massage and reflexology just before and just after treatment in the hope that it will help my body prepare for and adjust to the chemotherapy treatment. 

Breast Cancer Haven really is a true haven, and there’s such a lovely feeling of tranquillity and peace there. 

Having gone through cancer already with my late husband Matt, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1997, I felt prepared for my treatment regime and wasn't afraid of it. When Matt was poorly, I used to feel guilty about leaving him alone to go to work but now I realise that when you're poorly you're happy to have time alone and for people to get on with life around you.

As my family live back in New Zealand, I started a blog about Matt’s cancer journey to keep them updated but now I’m using it to document my own."


This October how will you use your extra hour to support women like Kristine?

“Cancer affects everybody so do whatever you can to raise awareness or offer help, why wouldn’t you?!”

Make your hour count.


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