Cancer and motherhood – Lana’s story

Icon Writers / 03 May, 2023

Endeavour Hills mother-of-three, Lana Mubaslat was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer on 1 June 2022.

The 36-year-old was diagnosed eleven weeks after the birth of her third son.

Lana and her husband, Ergun have three young sons: Levent (eight), Zaydan (six) and Destan (one).

“When I had Destan last year, I couldn’t breastfeed from my right breast. It was odd, as I didn’t have any issues feeding from that side with my first two sons. There was no milk coming out and the breast was swollen and lumpy. I was told it was mastitis and given antibiotics to treat it. I did have lumps in the breast before my son was born but I put it down to being pregnant,” says Lana.

Lana, a qualified orthoptist caring for patients with eye disorders, says two of her colleagues at the small Melbourne practice she works in were diagnosed with breast cancer prior to her own diagnosis.

“Even after my colleagues were diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t think my symptoms could be cancer related. I simply put it down to being pregnant. When I started experiencing shoulder pain, I went to see a GP who realised that something wasn’t right,” says Lana.

Further investigations led to the breast cancer diagnosis and discovered the cancer had spread to surrounding lymph nodes.

“When I heard the words “you have cancer,” my world fell apart. I imagined the worst. I was petrified my children would grow up without a mother and that my youngest son wouldn’t remember me. It’s something you don’t expect to happen at such a young age, especially with a newborn baby. I was meant to be enjoying the newborn bubble stage but that was shattered. It was a really hard time because I didn’t have any experience in dealing with cancer, so my mind went to a dark place. But I knew I had to fight for the sake of my boys,” says Lana.

In the weeks following her diagnosis, Lana started five months of chemotherapy, which she finished in mid-November.

On 15 December 2022, she underwent a double mastectomy.

Lana spent Christmas recovering from her surgery before starting 25 sessions of radiation therapy on 9 February this year at Icon Cancer Centre Mulgrave under the care of radiation oncologist, A/Prof Steven David.

She finished her radiation therapy treatment in mid-March.

“Icon Mulgrave is not far from the boy’s school, so it was convenient for me to have my radiation therapy there. The team were so fantastic. They would look after Destan while I was having my treatment. It was only 15 minutes each day but it was such a big help to me. They were always on time and sometimes they were ready to take me in for treatment before I had even sat down in the waiting room. I can’t thank the team at Icon Mulgrave enough. They made my (treatment) experience seamless,” says Lana.

Lana says she wouldn’t have got through the past year without the support of her family and friends.

“My community came together and they were amazing. My mother and mother-in-law took it in turns of staying with us during my treatments, which allowed me to focus on my health. Many of my friends delivered food. I think the biggest piece of advice I can give to fellow cancer patients is to take it day by day and be kind to yourself. There were days where I couldn’t get up and do things, so I had to let people help. I’m truly grateful to my amazing support network,” says Lana.

Lana says her cancer journey has significantly changed her outlook on life.

“Before my diagnosis, we were always on the go, leading a busy life and working hard to achieve more. We were renovating a house and didn’t have a lot of spare time. But due to my cancer diagnosis and treatment, we were forced to slow down and it made us realise we need to focus on creating memories and spending quality time with our boys and our families.”

View all Iconic Community


Contact us
Become a patient