“My name is Shona. I’m a mother of two young girls, aged 6 and 10, and a police officer from Canberra. In November last year, a week after my 39th birthday, I discovered a lump in my left breast.
I had never been diligent about self-checking. I always thought I was too young to contemplate breast cancer but I had a feeling that this lump hadn’t been there before. I reluctantly went to see my GP in the hope she would tell me it was nothing to worry about – she didn’t.
She sent me in for testing and two days later I was booked in for an ultrasound and biopsy. The results came back the following day and I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma.
The next few days were all a whirlwind and it felt like my feet didn’t touch the ground. I was quickly referred to a breast cancer surgeon and put in contact with a breast care nurse at Calvary Hospital.
Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I underwent a mastectomy. I will be forever grateful that my lymph nodes were clear and I was sent home from the hospital three days later. I recovered from the operation with absolutely no complications and was able to return to work a few weeks later.
My medical team suggested that I have Oncotype DX testing to determine what treatment plan I would need. I only realised how important this testing was when the results came back and showed I wouldn’t have to undergo chemotherapy. Without the testing, my oncologist would have recommended chemotherapy. I am undergoing endocrine therapy, which is not without side effects, but thankfully they are minimal. Which means that I’ll be well enough to run in the Australian Running Festival half marathon in April to raise funds for cancer research.
I have now been given the all clear and I consider myself very lucky. Sadly I lost my grandmother to bowel cancer and two amazing women in my extended family to breast cancer. I am the first woman in my immediate family to undergo treatment for breast cancer and I never want to see my sisters or daughters go through what I had to.
I’m astounded by the overwhelming support I have received from my family, friends and especially my colleagues. I am so proud of my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, their generous donations have contributed to over 90% of my current fundraising total. We really try to support each other during the tough times – they are my extended family and I love them all.
I will carry scars into the future as a testament to my battle but I am determined to not let cancer kill me. I have two amazing and beautiful daughters that need their mum and I am supported by the most incredible man I call my husband. This has been a tough time for me and my family but I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones.
Early detection and superb medical intervention means I will survive. I hope that by sharing my story I can make people aware of the importance of early detection and self-breast checks, and help raise funds for cancer research.” – ACRF supporter, Shona Davis.
Click here to support Shona’s Canberra Times Half Marathon.