September 2012 Member of the Month – Tracey Ryan

Hi, my name is Tracey Ryan and I am 48 years young. I am married and have 2 children- a daughter 25 and a son 14 (my son is chronically ill, he requires a bowel transplant). My family history of cancer is that I had 4 aunties on my fathers side die from breast cancer before they were 50, my mother had bowel cancer, her sister died from cancer and I have 3 uncles with prostate cancer.

I found my lump when I was in the Royal Childrens Hospital with my son in late February 2010. It was stage 3 grade 4 cancer, I had the lump removed in early March 2010 and did 8 rounds of chemo. In November 2010 I had both breasts removed and a tram flap reconstruction and during this time found out that I now had cancer in my spine. Thought I was going ok until last month (March 2012) when I found another large lump in my breast and now have been told that I cannot be cured. BUT life is good. I am still undergoing treatment and will do so for as long as I can.

I’m still very much alive and, with the help and strength of my wonderful husband and beautiful children, will remain so for a long time. I look at life differently now; trying not to stress as much and making the most of each beautiful day. I have my wonderful ‘Pink Daughters’ support group whom I adore and without whom I’d struggle to cope. People like these and other special friends get me through the inevitable tough days.

My message for you is never surrender and fight for as long as you can, because a cure for this disease may be just around the corner. Love your family, friends and life with everything you’ve got. We’re women; we’re strong – and life is great.