Support key to quick recovery

Deanne Hetherington (right) with some of her support network – daughter Nicole and grandson Riley.
Deanne Hetherington (right) with some of her support network – daughter Nicole and grandson Riley.

At first the doctor thought there was nothing to be concerned about, but to be sure he arranged for Deanne to have a mammogram. It was quickly followed by an ultrasound and biopsy.

The news was not good: Deanne had breast cancer with three tumours.

‘By this time the doctor had made an appointment for me to attend the breast clinic at Charlie Gairdner,’ Deanne said. ‘I was gob-smacked by the different ages of women waiting to be seen.’

Always accompanied to medical appointments by her daughter Nicole, and sometimes with daughter-in-law Kylee, Deanne set out on the road to recovery following her mastectomy.

‘Nicole was always there for me,’ Deanne said. ‘When she dropped in to see me or help with the housework, she brought my little grandson Riley. He would bring his toys and make me play games with him. He was so bright and cheerful, and I loved him for it.

‘My granddaughter Jayde was hit hard by my cancer, but my boys and grandsons, who I know love me dearly, seemed to think as long as I wasn’t in bed, I was fine.’

Encouraged by her friends and family, Deanne took to writing a daily account of her journey on Facebook.

‘Every day I received messages of encouragement,’ she said. ‘The support was wonderful. Sometimes I had ‘dark days’ but the Facebook messages would come flowing in.’

Deanne is grateful for her support and treatment, and is looking to the future with confidence.

‘Being told you have cancer is not a death sentence,’ she said. ‘I am well again, partly because of the research done through Charlie Gairdner and the WA Cancer Council. You never know when you may have to depend on them.’

The WA Cancer Council will hold its annual Relay for Life Joondalup Wanneroo, October 18-19, at Arena Joondalup. For more information call 0417 942 005 or email starlight2@westnet.com.au