Compounding her stress was the thought of leaving her young daughter at home and fears of traumatising her with the forced separation.
Over the following months, Megan endured radiation treatment as well as a double mastectomy that she opted for to significantly reduce the chances of the cancer returning. She says she couldn’t stand the thought of putting her family through it all again.
“I just thought, ‘If this is my best chance I’ve got for beating it and keeping it out of my body, then for me it was a no-brainer. I considered it one breast for each child – that’s how I looked at it.”
Jacob finally left the NICU in December 2022.
Today, 12 months on from her initial diagnosis, Megan is cancer-free and considers herself a survivor.
Looking back on a surreal and terrifying year, she credits her breast care nurse, Sarah, at the Royal Women’s Hospital, with saving her life and providing essential support throughout her treatment.
Breast care nurses are specially trained nurses embedded in hospitals as a resource for women going through breast cancer treatment. They provide emotional support, as well as playing a key role in educating and advocating for women throughout their treatment.
While breast care nurses have become a standardised role in city hospitals, their availability in rural areas can be difficult, but there is a McGrath Foundation hotline that can put patients in touch with these supporters.