Mum reveals challenge of ‘letting go of control’ during breast cancer battle

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Sara Monaghan is terrified she will die of cancer, leaving her two young sons without a mother

Sara Monaghan is terrified she will die of cancer, leaving her two young sons without a mother

Sara Monaghan is terrified that she will die of cancer and leave her two young sons without a mother.

The 39-year-old woman from Sydney has had clear scans for two and a half years but is quietly holding onto fears that the cancer will come back and she can’t stand it.

Speaking to FEMAIL, Sara admitted she kept a brave face when she was diagnosed with hormone positive breast cancer.

The mother of two’s cancer journey began in the shower just before Christmas in 2019 – when she felt a lump on the underside of her left breast.

She initially thought it was nothing, but decided to ask her doctor “just in case” during a checkup in February.

The doctor “wasn’t too worried,” but sent her for an ultrasound “just to be sure.”

As soon as the image flashed on the screen, Sara knew that something was “seriously wrong.”

“When I had the ultrasound I could see a mass, I usually can’t identify anything on ultrasounds,” she said.

“The technician then told me to have a biopsy to check it, she looked me in the eye and told me not to wait too long.

The mother of two tried to keep a brave face for her family, despite having to endure 12 months of grueling treatment

The mother of two tried to keep a brave face for her family, despite having to endure 12 months of grueling treatment

The mother of two tried to keep a brave face for her family, despite having to endure 12 months of grueling treatment

She has secretly believed that the cancer will kill her and take her from her husband and sons.

She has secretly believed that the cancer will kill her and take her from her husband and sons.

She has secretly believed that the cancer will kill her and take her from her husband and sons.

“I burst into tears and called my husband.”

Sara had her biopsy the following Monday — and her fears were confirmed two days later when her doctor called her to her office “on time.”

The next few weeks passed with Sara facing wave after wave of decision making, from whether she wanted both of her breasts removed to the kind of implants she preferred and whether she wanted doctors to have her nipples removed. would save if they could.

“This was at a time when certain implants were being taken off the market because they were associated with different types of cancer,” she said.

“So a lot of information came at me and no time to digest it.”

She also had to choose between chemical and medical menopause and sign technical treatment options.

When the first round of decision-making was completed, Sara began 12 months of brutal treatments. She said radiotherapy was “a walk in the park” compared to chemo.

“When you start, they tell you that everyone responds differently to each treatment. You can have a marathon runner who suddenly can’t do anything or a 65-year-old who feels fine,” she said.

Sara fell somewhere in the middle.

“I remember going to school three days after my first chemo session to pick up my kids and having a hard time walking in to pick them up,” she said.

She felt weak, tired and as if she had no control over anything in her life, including her own body.

“I’m a control freak, letting go of everything was mentally difficult for me,” she said.

It was then that she met a breast cancer nurse who “changed everything.”

“She was the first to tell me that I could control how I felt by exercising.”

Sara revealed it was hard to give up 'control of everything' after her diagnosis

Sara revealed it was hard to give up 'control of everything' after her diagnosis

Sara revealed it was hard to give up ‘control of everything’ after her diagnosis

Sara managed to keep her fatigue and mental health in check by staying active, while some friends joked that she looked too good to undergo cancer treatment.

“I used to joke that I had ‘that chemo glow,'” she said.

“Looking back, I realize how awful I looked.”

Sara has been given a 10-year survival rate from her doctors, one of the best possible outcomes for women with her type of cancer.

“Even if you have a 99 percent chance of survival academically, that one percent you’re missing is running through your head,” she said.

“We lose women to this disease every day, nine women a day, so we feel like we have no control.

Despite the lingering fear, Sara tries to stay positive.

Sara says she will have treatments for the rest of her life, but is happy as long as that life is long

Sara says she will have treatments for the rest of her life, but is happy as long as that life is long

Sara says she will have treatments for the rest of her life, but is happy as long as that life is long

“It’s a lottery, sometimes women like me get lucky in stage three and the cancer never comes back,” she said.

And while she knows things will never go back to “normal,” her life is no longer about cancer.

“I used to wake up and think, ‘Oh that’s right, I have cancer,'” she said.

“Now I wake up when my alarm goes off and hope my kids aren’t awake yet so I can have a few more minutes without being bothered,” she laughed.

Sara’s treatment changed the way she lives her day-to-day life.

Sara says she feels like she turned 10 years old in 12 months after getting cancer

Sara says she feels like she turned 10 years old in 12 months after getting cancer

Sara says she feels like she turned 10 years old in 12 months after getting cancer

“I feel like I’m 10 years old,” she said.

“I also have post-menopausal skin now, so I take more care of it now than I used to.”

Sara now speaks publicly about her battle with the life-threatening illness and how she chooses to live her life with extra kindness, love and passion.

She will have “some form of treatment” for the rest of her life, but it doesn’t matter as long as it’s “longevity.”

She recently spoke at an even for GHD and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

ghd raises money in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation

ghd raises money in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation

ghd raises money in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation

In collaboration with the National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia (NBCF), ghd celebrates the launch of the 2022 Limited Edition Pink Collection and 18-year ongoing partnership with breast cancer charities worldwide, raising more than $22 million for the cause.

This year, ghd will continue their support by donating $20 from every Pink limited edition purchase to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia.

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