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Magalie Lameloise



Magalie LameloiseMagalie Lameloise

Four years ago, I moved from Europe to Bondi, where I now live with my partner and our 18 month old son, Benjamin. Australia is now my home and I love it here.

One night in June 2012, I was lying in bed when I felt a lump in my breast. I was a little worried but because I was only 33 and still breastfeeding, I didn’t think it could be cancer. Just to be sure, I went to my doctor to have it looked at. She sent me to have an ultrasound and mammogram which I did the following week. The results were inconclusive, so I was sent for a biopsy.

I was sitting at a café about to dive into a piece of chocolate cake when my doctor rang to give me the test results. As soon as I heard her voice I knew it was breast cancer. I couldn’t think straight. The first thing I remember thinking is, “should I still eat this piece of cake?”

Despite my cancer being small and caught early, it is quite an aggressive type of cancer, so I’m currently undergoing 10 months of treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I had two types of chemotherapy. I found the first type very difficult, but the side-effects weren’t as bad during the second type. I have just finished my chemotherapy and have started 33 rounds of radiation therapy at Randwick Hospital. It’s nice to not be on chemotherapy anymore, but I miss the lovely other women and helpful nurses that I bonded with during my chemotherapy sessions.

"It’s nice to not be on chemotherapy anymore, but I miss the lovely other women and helpful nurses that I bonded with during my chemotherapy sessions."
Magalie

Caring for Benjamin while undergoing treatment can be difficult. With my immediate family still in France, my partner has had to pick up all the pieces. He cooks a lot of the meals and takes care of Benjamin when I’m resting. He and my beautiful son have been amazing throughout the journey. We have also a nanny who comes twice a week to help. She is part of a Centrelink program and her help has been priceless.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer my partner and I went searching for something to read, but it was hard to find something that wasn’t full of medical lingo. I always enjoyed reading comic books and thought that perhaps I should start drawing my story and posting the images on a blog. These drawings have kept me busy and also helped me get through the journey. I’ve also been really grateful to receive positive feedback from women in similar situations all around the world. There are currently 460 people following my blog (www.magsblog.com) and over 100 people visiting the website, which is incredible. One day, I would love for my illustrations to be published in a booklet for young women diagnosed with cancer as this is something I wish I’d had at the start of my cancer journey.

The other thing I have found really beneficial is the support I’ve received from the hospital where I’ve been treated. I have been attending a meeting once a month with other young women (under 45) undergoing cancer treatment. Sometimes we have guest speakers, including one from Cancer Council, but mostly we are just there to support each other. I would recommend other cancer patients to ask their medical staff about any support services available to them because I have found this group to be very worthwhile. The two breast cancer nurses that facilitate these meetings have been wonderful.

Although this experience has been really hard for me, I was lucky that I found the cancer early and I was able to keep my breast. I am always happy to talk about my experiences and have never been ashamed of having cancer, but that’s just me. It has not been too bad losing my hair as well, I actually realised that I have a nice skull!

At the moment, I am really focused on getting through my treatment, which will be finished by May. We have planned a big trip to Europe and then when I get back I will look for a new job.

My experience with cancer has motivated me to work in an environment where I can help others – I’m not quite sure just how yet but for the meantime I’m continuing to share my story with others through my blog.

Magalie, 34, New South Wales

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This page was last updated on: Friday, February 21, 2014

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