Pat stage 3 triple negative breast cancer storyI am facing the challenge of my life battling very aggressive, triple negative, grade 3, only 20% cure rate, breast cancer. I am 55 years old, 34 years happily married to Mark, I have a daughter, 25, Katie & son, Brad, 24.

This is my story with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer to date.

My story begins like this:

  • World Masters October, 2009 Sydney I competed in the 50-54 age group events in both swimming & athletics where I obtained top ten finishes in every event, my best result being 4th in the Javelin throw.

The key events are:Pat medals stage 3 triple negative breast cancer story

  • October 2009 – World Masters Sydney competed in swimming & athletics.
  • November 2009 – I had serious accident at work injuring both arms requiring multiple surgeries. Doctors said I wouldn’t be able to swim again. Gained 20 kg in weight due to not being able to exercise.
  • January 2012 –After working hard at my rehabilitation given the all clear to commence swimming again.
  • June 2012 – I had lost the 20 kg thru diet & hard work & started competing again.
  • July 2012 – I had a routine Breast screening mammogram, which showed a malignant tumor. Immediate lumpectomy showed cancer was very deadly, stage 3 triple negative breast cancer, only 20 percent cure rate. 5 months of very strong (FEC) chemotherapy followed.
  • February 2013 – I started radiation.
  • All the while having my treatment I maintained a high level of fitness running, swimming & gym despite being very sick hoping to still be able to compete at World Masters in Italy, August 2013.

It ends like this:

Pat 2013 stage 3 triple negative breast cancer

  • January 2013 – Oncologist gives the all clear to go ahead & train & compete at World Masters.
  • March 2013 – Finished radiation treatment & had some serious burns to my chest area, which required multiple dressings daily.
  • March 2013 – Back in full training to compete at World Masters in Athletics – Shot Put, Javelin, Discus & 2km steeplechase & Swimming – 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 back stroke and 50 backstroke despite having some breathing difficulties.
  • May 2013 – Admitted to hospital with heart complications (left chamber of heart only pumping at only 40%). Given heart medication.
  • July 2013 – Kidneys showing some problems.
  • August 2013 – Competed at Torino, Italy winning a silver medal in the 2km steeplechase, 4th in the javelin & top ten finishes in all my other 5 events.
  • October 2013 – Competed at Australian Masters Games, Geelong, VIC winning Gold in the 2km Steeplechase & discus throw, silver in the 100 back stroke & bronze in the javelin throw & 200 backstroke.
Due to the effects of my cancer treatment I have a damaged heart & peripheral neuropathy in both feet, which makes it very difficult to exercise.

However, I am determined to be on that starting line for the Pan Pacific Masters Games in November competing in athletics – 2 km steeplechase, shot put, discus, javelin & the weight pentathlon & swimming – 50, 100, 200 & 400 backstroke & 200, 400 freestyle & the 1.5 km open water.

I also have something called MGUS in my blood, which is an early marker for multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer.

Sometimes we are dealt some unfortunate cards in life but its nothing that we can control…life is there to be lived no matter what!

  1. The story of my daughter and I in an Australian newspaper.
  2. My Youtube channel.

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