Quick Telecast
Expect News First

Breast cancer reoccurence: Aussie mum Rosealeen on the realities of living with stage four breast cancer

0 86


Rosealeen Jardine had been through a lumpectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and doctors told her she was cancer-free.

Almost five years later, however, she had to break the news to her husband and her son that it was back, and had metastasised to her liver. Two years after that, she had to tell them it had spread to her brain.

“I remember telling my son [when it came back for a second time] and he just looked at me and he burst into tears,” Rosealeen tells 9Honey from Bulli in New South Wales. “He asked, ‘Why is this happening to us?'”

READ MORE: Meghan ‘hated every second’ of Australian royal tour, book claims

Rosealeen with her son Tyler on Christmas in 2011. (Supplied)

What started out as a routine check-up with her local GP in 2011, which included a pap smear, a breast exam, and a discussion about Rosealeen’s family history of breast cancer – her 78-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her early 50s – middled to a mammogram and ultrasound, and ended with a phone call from her GP saying she needed to get a biopsy on a lump as soon as possible.

“I had to wait a week to get an appointment [for a biopsy] and my GP actually phoned to make sure I was getting it done,” Rosealeen recalls. “I knew then it wasn’t going to be good news.”

When Rosealeen saw her GP for the biopsy’s results, it was official. At 41, she had breast cancer, and Rosealeen’s GP had already booked her in with a surgeon and given her a referral for an oncologist before she even walked through the office’s doors.

Just eight months prior, Rosealeen had suffered a miscarriage, and now she was facing the added grief of not being able to give her then seven-year-old son another sibling.

Contact Bronte Gossling at [email protected].

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen during her first round of chemotherapy in 2016, using a cold cap to try and keep her hair. (Supplied)

“I suddenly have this breast cancer diagnosis and then I’m told, ‘Well, if you want to still have children, we have to get you into an IVF program. You’re going to have to go on all these drugs, get your body ready to take some eggs, and they’ll try and fertilise them,'” Rosealeen says.

Rosealeen and her husband of 28 years, Ross, had to act quickly and make a decision about if they wanted to try for a second child, knowing the egg harvesting process would delay the chemotherapy treatment she desperately needed – which was set to begin after her two lumpectomy surgeries – and that Rosealeen wouldn’t be able to try to get pregnant for at least two years after her cancer treatment.

“So I’m thinking, time-wise, I’m getting a little bit older and it might not even work,” Rosealeen recalls. “And we were doing the numbers and there was a lot of sitting there and crying and we just couldn’t work it out.”

Ultimately, the couple came to the realisation that Rosealeen’s body needed to be as healthy as possible going into chemotherapy, and she didn’t want to go into something so strenuous while she was “coming off some crazy cocktail of hormone tablets” for the “tiny percentage” there would be enough feasible embryos – though Rosealeen knows this was “devastating” for Ross, who desired a sibling for Tyler, who is now 18.

“I think that was the most important thing, was having me healthy, and that we had a son already,” she says. “If we didn’t have another child, things were going to be okay, but it was just hour upon hour of sitting alone and crying our eyes out. It just was so emotionally draining.”

READ MORE: Aussie mum lashes calls to ban school lunch staple

Rosealeen Jardine
A photo from a family holiday to the Atherton Tablelands, which Ross and Rosealeen promised Tyler they would take him on ‘when Mummy was better.’ (Supplied)

By 2016, cancer was the “last thing” on Rosealeen’s mind. She’d had the lump taken out of her breast five years prior, and gone through chemotherapy and radiation therapy for “extra insurance.” She thought the cancer had been “killed” and that after all the anguish, she could “move on with [her] life.”

She was wrong.

Rosealeen had been busy travelling for work, as she does at the beginning of every year, but this time, the exhaustion was weighing too heavy on her weary shoulders. So, she went to the GP, and was sent off for a blood test. The next morning, the GP called.

“She rang me up and said, ‘You’ve got to come and see me straight away. Your liver levels are off the charts,'” she says.

For Rosealeen, the possibility it was cancer for a second time did not cross her mind. She went for an ultrasound, and that afternoon, her GP called once again and told her she now had secondary cancer in her liver, and it was Stage IV.

“I went, ‘What?’ I just went for a blood test, and here I am with cancer again,” Rosealeen says. “I’d been having my regular mammograms and ultrasound checkups with my surgeon, and that was all fine. He was happy with me. So it was unbelievable.”

While Rosealeen’s first brush with breast cancer had been in her lymph nodes, this cancer had travelled via her blood – and although she did undergo treatment for it, in 2018, she found out it had metastasised in her brain, and even after a craniotomy and radiation, by 2020, it had spread further within her cerebrum.

READ MORE: Why discussing sex when you’re going through cancer treatment is more important than you think

Rosealeen Jardine
A shot from a glamour shoot Rosealeen won in a competition, the photos from which she received the day she got her brain tumour diagnosis. (Supplied)

“Once you’re at Stage IV, it’s incurable,” Rosealeen, who at the age of 52, is part of the mere 22 per cent who survive five years living with metastatic breast cancer. The median survival rate is three years.

“This is a lifetime chronic illness that I have,” she says.

She will be getting some form of treatment for the rest of her life.

For the last six years, in addition to her surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Rosealeen has been getting intravenous treatment every three weeks. She also has regular blood tests every six weeks, and CT scans, brain MRIs and an echocardiogram every six months, as one of her prescribed drugs can damage her heart.

“There is a lot of anxiety around the time of every scan and appointment to get the results,” Rosealeen says. “It’s like living with a loaded gun pointed against your head – is this the time there will be progression? Waiting for results is very stressful.”

Rosealeen does specify, however, a small silver lining to her regular checkups; they do mean that any new developments in her condition are picked up swiftly.

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen in the ICU after her craniotomy. (Supplied)

‘This is a lifetime chronic illness that I have’

Physically, her side effects include neuropathy in her feet, and often she experiences constipation and upset stomachs. Rosealeen also is on hormone blockers to keep her estrogen levels low, which can lead to osteoporosis, and has been through chemically-induced menopause twice – once in 2011, and again in 2016.

Emotionally, it’s an even more treacherous rollercoaster.

Rosealeen pinpoints her 2018 diagnosis as a particularly trying time mentally, and that’s when she sought help from a psychologist because she was “thinking about dying all the time.”

“That was really good for me,” she recalls, and says she learnt techniques on how to enjoy the moment and appreciate what she has currently. That doesn’t mean, however, her terminal status is not hard to grapple with.

“Sometimes it really rears its head and it gets you emotionally,” Rosealeen says. “It’s an ongoing process to monitor it constantly and make sure that the cancer doesn’t take over your life, that a normal life is possible within what’s going on.”

READ MORE: Every amazing look at the 2022 Met Gala

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen with Tyler at his Year 12 formal in 2021, something she says she never thought she would live to see. (Supplied)

Part of her mental health support comes in the form of breast cancer groups, however, when she was first looking for one to join, Rosealeen found it isolating – many were meetings between mainly early breast cancer survivors, and to them, Rosealeen says she is their “worst nightmare.”

“It is very lonely being a Stage IV breast cancer patient,” Rosealeen says. “It is a very ‘pink’ world full of stories of survival and fundraising for early breast cancer detection. As a community, the metastatic breast cancer patients feel very overlooked.”

Rosealeen has since found support in a Facebook Group specifically for survivors with stage IV breast cancer, where she can openly share her issues, discuss treatments, and lean on others for support – as well as offer some support of her own.

“It is a double-edged sword though,” Rosealeen says, “As many of the ladies pass away and it is very sad and a stark reminder that that could be me on day, and then I feel really guilty that I’m doing so well on my line of treatment.”

“Sometimes,” Rosealeen confides, “I find myself talking about how lucky I have been.”

Rosealeen lists examples of her so-called luck including finding the lump early, responding well to chemotherapy and treatment, having brain lesions in areas accessible for surgery and radiation with minimal side effects, and being able to live long enough to see her son graduate high-school.

“Lucky that I’m young and healthy and still leading a very normal life,” she says. “But really, lucky isn’t how I would sum up getting a cancer diagnosis, let alone a terminal one.”

Breast Cancer Trials’ free Q&A event at 5pm AEST on May 11 will feature a panel of experts discussing breast cancer recurrence, including the latest in research and clinical trials, personal experiences of breast cancer, living with the fear of recurrence and how to manage that fear, as well as what help is available. Learn more and register here.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here.

Delta Goodrem and Sofia Vergara cancer

Celebrities who have shared their cancer journeys


Rosealeen Jardine had been through a lumpectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and doctors told her she was cancer-free.

Almost five years later, however, she had to break the news to her husband and her son that it was back, and had metastasised to her liver. Two years after that, she had to tell them it had spread to her brain.

“I remember telling my son [when it came back for a second time] and he just looked at me and he burst into tears,” Rosealeen tells 9Honey from Bulli in New South Wales. “He asked, ‘Why is this happening to us?'”

READ MORE: Meghan ‘hated every second’ of Australian royal tour, book claims

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen with her son Tyler on Christmas in 2011. (Supplied)

What started out as a routine check-up with her local GP in 2011, which included a pap smear, a breast exam, and a discussion about Rosealeen’s family history of breast cancer – her 78-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her early 50s – middled to a mammogram and ultrasound, and ended with a phone call from her GP saying she needed to get a biopsy on a lump as soon as possible.

“I had to wait a week to get an appointment [for a biopsy] and my GP actually phoned to make sure I was getting it done,” Rosealeen recalls. “I knew then it wasn’t going to be good news.”

When Rosealeen saw her GP for the biopsy’s results, it was official. At 41, she had breast cancer, and Rosealeen’s GP had already booked her in with a surgeon and given her a referral for an oncologist before she even walked through the office’s doors.

Just eight months prior, Rosealeen had suffered a miscarriage, and now she was facing the added grief of not being able to give her then seven-year-old son another sibling.

Contact Bronte Gossling at [email protected].

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen during her first round of chemotherapy in 2016, using a cold cap to try and keep her hair. (Supplied)

“I suddenly have this breast cancer diagnosis and then I’m told, ‘Well, if you want to still have children, we have to get you into an IVF program. You’re going to have to go on all these drugs, get your body ready to take some eggs, and they’ll try and fertilise them,'” Rosealeen says.

Rosealeen and her husband of 28 years, Ross, had to act quickly and make a decision about if they wanted to try for a second child, knowing the egg harvesting process would delay the chemotherapy treatment she desperately needed – which was set to begin after her two lumpectomy surgeries – and that Rosealeen wouldn’t be able to try to get pregnant for at least two years after her cancer treatment.

“So I’m thinking, time-wise, I’m getting a little bit older and it might not even work,” Rosealeen recalls. “And we were doing the numbers and there was a lot of sitting there and crying and we just couldn’t work it out.”

Ultimately, the couple came to the realisation that Rosealeen’s body needed to be as healthy as possible going into chemotherapy, and she didn’t want to go into something so strenuous while she was “coming off some crazy cocktail of hormone tablets” for the “tiny percentage” there would be enough feasible embryos – though Rosealeen knows this was “devastating” for Ross, who desired a sibling for Tyler, who is now 18.

“I think that was the most important thing, was having me healthy, and that we had a son already,” she says. “If we didn’t have another child, things were going to be okay, but it was just hour upon hour of sitting alone and crying our eyes out. It just was so emotionally draining.”

READ MORE: Aussie mum lashes calls to ban school lunch staple

Rosealeen Jardine
A photo from a family holiday to the Atherton Tablelands, which Ross and Rosealeen promised Tyler they would take him on ‘when Mummy was better.’ (Supplied)

By 2016, cancer was the “last thing” on Rosealeen’s mind. She’d had the lump taken out of her breast five years prior, and gone through chemotherapy and radiation therapy for “extra insurance.” She thought the cancer had been “killed” and that after all the anguish, she could “move on with [her] life.”

She was wrong.

Rosealeen had been busy travelling for work, as she does at the beginning of every year, but this time, the exhaustion was weighing too heavy on her weary shoulders. So, she went to the GP, and was sent off for a blood test. The next morning, the GP called.

“She rang me up and said, ‘You’ve got to come and see me straight away. Your liver levels are off the charts,'” she says.

For Rosealeen, the possibility it was cancer for a second time did not cross her mind. She went for an ultrasound, and that afternoon, her GP called once again and told her she now had secondary cancer in her liver, and it was Stage IV.

“I went, ‘What?’ I just went for a blood test, and here I am with cancer again,” Rosealeen says. “I’d been having my regular mammograms and ultrasound checkups with my surgeon, and that was all fine. He was happy with me. So it was unbelievable.”

While Rosealeen’s first brush with breast cancer had been in her lymph nodes, this cancer had travelled via her blood – and although she did undergo treatment for it, in 2018, she found out it had metastasised in her brain, and even after a craniotomy and radiation, by 2020, it had spread further within her cerebrum.

READ MORE: Why discussing sex when you’re going through cancer treatment is more important than you think

Rosealeen Jardine
A shot from a glamour shoot Rosealeen won in a competition, the photos from which she received the day she got her brain tumour diagnosis. (Supplied)

“Once you’re at Stage IV, it’s incurable,” Rosealeen, who at the age of 52, is part of the mere 22 per cent who survive five years living with metastatic breast cancer. The median survival rate is three years.

“This is a lifetime chronic illness that I have,” she says.

She will be getting some form of treatment for the rest of her life.

For the last six years, in addition to her surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Rosealeen has been getting intravenous treatment every three weeks. She also has regular blood tests every six weeks, and CT scans, brain MRIs and an echocardiogram every six months, as one of her prescribed drugs can damage her heart.

“There is a lot of anxiety around the time of every scan and appointment to get the results,” Rosealeen says. “It’s like living with a loaded gun pointed against your head – is this the time there will be progression? Waiting for results is very stressful.”

Rosealeen does specify, however, a small silver lining to her regular checkups; they do mean that any new developments in her condition are picked up swiftly.

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen in the ICU after her craniotomy. (Supplied)

‘This is a lifetime chronic illness that I have’

Physically, her side effects include neuropathy in her feet, and often she experiences constipation and upset stomachs. Rosealeen also is on hormone blockers to keep her estrogen levels low, which can lead to osteoporosis, and has been through chemically-induced menopause twice – once in 2011, and again in 2016.

Emotionally, it’s an even more treacherous rollercoaster.

Rosealeen pinpoints her 2018 diagnosis as a particularly trying time mentally, and that’s when she sought help from a psychologist because she was “thinking about dying all the time.”

“That was really good for me,” she recalls, and says she learnt techniques on how to enjoy the moment and appreciate what she has currently. That doesn’t mean, however, her terminal status is not hard to grapple with.

“Sometimes it really rears its head and it gets you emotionally,” Rosealeen says. “It’s an ongoing process to monitor it constantly and make sure that the cancer doesn’t take over your life, that a normal life is possible within what’s going on.”

READ MORE: Every amazing look at the 2022 Met Gala

Rosealeen Jardine
Rosealeen with Tyler at his Year 12 formal in 2021, something she says she never thought she would live to see. (Supplied)

Part of her mental health support comes in the form of breast cancer groups, however, when she was first looking for one to join, Rosealeen found it isolating – many were meetings between mainly early breast cancer survivors, and to them, Rosealeen says she is their “worst nightmare.”

“It is very lonely being a Stage IV breast cancer patient,” Rosealeen says. “It is a very ‘pink’ world full of stories of survival and fundraising for early breast cancer detection. As a community, the metastatic breast cancer patients feel very overlooked.”

Rosealeen has since found support in a Facebook Group specifically for survivors with stage IV breast cancer, where she can openly share her issues, discuss treatments, and lean on others for support – as well as offer some support of her own.

“It is a double-edged sword though,” Rosealeen says, “As many of the ladies pass away and it is very sad and a stark reminder that that could be me on day, and then I feel really guilty that I’m doing so well on my line of treatment.”

“Sometimes,” Rosealeen confides, “I find myself talking about how lucky I have been.”

Rosealeen lists examples of her so-called luck including finding the lump early, responding well to chemotherapy and treatment, having brain lesions in areas accessible for surgery and radiation with minimal side effects, and being able to live long enough to see her son graduate high-school.

“Lucky that I’m young and healthy and still leading a very normal life,” she says. “But really, lucky isn’t how I would sum up getting a cancer diagnosis, let alone a terminal one.”

Breast Cancer Trials’ free Q&A event at 5pm AEST on May 11 will feature a panel of experts discussing breast cancer recurrence, including the latest in research and clinical trials, personal experiences of breast cancer, living with the fear of recurrence and how to manage that fear, as well as what help is available. Learn more and register here.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here.

Delta Goodrem and Sofia Vergara cancer

Celebrities who have shared their cancer journeys

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Quick Telecast is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment
buy kamagra buy kamagra online
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock