LIKE most women, Judi Shelton has always been aware of the risk of breast cancer.
So she had a mammogram every two years and did regular self-examinations.
In 2004, after another mammogram, Judi went home confident all was well.
“Unbeknown to me they had picked up something,” she said.
“They sent an urgent fax to my doctor that I was to be seen right away at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Somehow the fax was misplaced and ended up in another patient’s file.
When it was found I was contacted and the next thing I knew I was at Charlies.
“Being told I had cancer was the most frightening moment of my life.
So many things rushed through my mind; would I survive and what about my daughter and grandchildren?”
Fortunately for Judi, the cancer had been detected early and following a successful operation to remove her left breast and 17 lymph nodes, she was given the all-clear, without the need for radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
Two years after her operation Judi chose to have a breast reconstruction.
“Since then, I haven’t looked back,” she said.
“I have my life back and have been cancer-free 12 years.
“The journey is not an easy one, but with the love and support of family and friends, you get through it.”
Four years ago Judi’s daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, but after a successful operation she is now free of the disease.
Judi is now concerned about what may lay ahead for her granddaughter.
“This is what got me involved with WA Cancer Council’s Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life,” Judi said.
“It was a chance to give back that love and support to everyone that has to walk this path, and letting others know being told you have cancer, is not a death sentence.”
Judi is the team captain of The Weekenders, which is mainly made up of Weekender staff at the Community Newspaper Group in Joondalup.
The team will stay overnight for the 24-hour fundraising event over the October 22-23 weekend at Arena Joondalup.
For more details call 0417 922 726 or email email@example.com.