59-year-old Airlie Beach local Lynne Norton was looking forward to seeing the world and making the most of her new life in Australia when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. Lynne and her husband had just moved to Australia from New Zealand for a change of lifestyle and purchased a yacht to travel across the world. After returning home from a four week European holiday, their plans were immediately put on hold when Lynne noticed changes to her nipple in her bathroom mirror that she hadn’t seen before. The following weeks were filled with a whirlwind of tests and scans, followed by a devastating diagnosis – Stage II breast cancer.
“The news wasn’t good and I didn’t expect it to be. It was pretty scary. Even though you know something is wrong, you don’t want to hear someone confirm it. The hardest moment in my life was calling my son and telling him the news.”
Lynne went on to receive a mastectomy, six months of chemotherapy in Mackay and 10 days of radiation therapy treatment in her home country of New Zealand, surrounded by her friends and family, before finishing treatment in April of 2017. It was then smooth sailing for Lynne and her husband, who celebrated finishing treatment in April of 2017 by returning to Europe and travelling down the French coast. Unfortunately, a breast reconstruction and subsequent side effects led to a grim discovery earlier this year.