For 66-year-old Carol Morrison, life hasn’t been easy over the last few years. From the loss of loved ones, illness in her family to a cancer diagnosis, with the support of her family she’s learned how to get through anything that life throws her.
Five years ago, Carol lost her husband to bowel cancer.
“I felt so helpless. He went to the doctor with a cold and after blood tests, he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and told he had only months to live,” Carol said.
She then lost her brother to lung cancer just last year. With these losses front of mind, the last thing Carol thought was that she too would develop cancer. She first went to the doctor after noticing changes to her nipple, but wasn’t too concerned.
“I thought the signs of breast cancer were only lumps, whereas all I had was an inverted nipple. I just thought I would get it checked, it never crossed my mind that it could be cancer.”
Following further testing, Carol was diagnosed with Stage II/III inflammatory breast cancer in January 2018. She says that telling her family was one of the hardest parts about being diagnosed with cancer.
“I just felt so bad that they had to go through this again. But in some ways it’s easier when it’s happening to you.”
Carol then commenced three months of chemotherapy treatment at St John of God Murdoch Hospital. Unfortunately, getting to treatment was another hurdle to jump through.
“I don’t drive, so my daughter had to take time off to drive me to my chemotherapy treatment. Then we would get stuck in traffic on the freeway,” Carol said.
One month after completing chemotherapy, Carol underwent an operation to remove her left breast. She was then referred for five weeks of radiation therapy treatment at Icon Cancer Centre Rockingham. Although she didn’t know much about radiation therapy, the centre made her feel right at home.