Hi I’m Karne and have been through breast cancer twice. I know how devastating it can be at first, being overwhelmed with information and feeling our life has been turned upside down.

My first breast cancer diagnosis was in 2020 when I was 66 when I found a lump in my breast that seemed to have developed overnight, a total shock as I’d had regular routine breast screening. I was diagnosed with a Her2+ Grade 2, 5 cm tumour (ER and PR negative).

I was started on chemotherapy (Docetaxel) and later Herceptin to shrink the tumour which I found very tough and was only able to endure 4 of the 6 planned sessions. I lost my hair, my nails, my taste buds and quite a bit of weight but can happily say all have returned. The chemo had sufficiently shrunk the tumour, so I had a lumpectomy (wide local excision) with clear margins followed by 5 radiotherapy sessions.

Two years later in 2022 my surveillance mammogram found the same cancer had returned but was now Grade 3. This came as a shock but the surgeon I’d had before was still looking after me, so I knew I was in good hands. I had a full mastectomy with an immediate LD reconstruction (back muscle) and a year later, a nipple reconstruction.

Throughout these experiences I have come to value and appreciate the help and support I got from friends and family, especially my Cavapoo Billy who was my constant companion. Talking to others about their similar journeys and fears helped me enormously. I would love to help and support you in managing your journey and you can contact me on karne@breastcancernow.org