Mom Of Two Shares A Picture Where She Looks Healthy And Happy Just Weeks Before Learning She Has Breast Cancer

Date October 3, 2018

One of the scariest things about cancer is its ability to grow without being noticed. Many people affected by cancer look and feel fine in the early stages of the disease, which is a good reason to get regular screening tests, even when you think nothing is wrong.

READ ALSO: Woman Shares A Photo Of Rare Breast Cancer Sign To Warn Other Women All Over The World

Kirstin's story

Kirstin Pretorius, a mom of two from Sydney, uses her own experience to urge other women to get regular breast cancer screenings.


In this picture, I was living with cancer. I just didn't know it yet. Ironically, this year marked the peak of my 'health' and my fitness. I've never felt better, stronger, or more comfortable with myself than I did turning 34. My marriage had never been better and my children were thriving. Everything was beautifully bright. But, despite feeling perfectly well, I went for my routine yearly health check. And that's when they discovered 'the limp'. The lump. I look at this picture from a simply blissful family holiday celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary and all I can think is... 'KIRSTIN how can you not know that there are 3 tumours thriving away in your breast? How can you not FEEL the cancer slipping into your lymph nodes? Why don't you FEEL sick? How can you be so stupid?!' But I didn't know and I didn't feel. If my doctor hadn't examined me, I'd still be blissfully unaware, reaching new fitness goals with my body, eating my futile little anti-oxidant high virtually-vegan wonder food diet... I'd be packing my little plastic-free super food school lunches for my girls, lecturing them on healthy lifestyles. I'd be chemically-free cleaning my home wondering why the whole world doesn't use essential oils. All the while growing and feeding my precious cancer. So check your boobs. Know your body. Cancer happens. To anyone. #breastcancer #breastexam #cancersucks #knowyourbody

Публикация от Kirstin Pretorius (@kicking_the_big_c)

In the photo you see above, Kirstin looks like a picture of health. Or so it may seem. In this photo, taken at her 10th wedding anniversary, Kirstin already has cancer growing in her breast and spreading to her lymph nodes, as she herself wrote in the caption.

Kirstin really looked fine and felt great, but she went for her routine checkup anyway. She’s lucky she did, as it was then that her breast cancer was discovered.

After a few imaging tests and a biopsy, doctors told the woman she had breast cancer. She was shell-shocked. Speaking to 9Honey, Kirstin said:

I’m one of those people who always think everything will be fine. Even waiting for the biopsy results I kept telling myself, 'I’m sure they’re going to say it was a false alarm.' So when they said, 'It's cancer,' I was shocked, I was horrified.

Despite the initial shock, the family didn’t give in to despair. Kirstin’s husband, Maurice, and their two daughters, Amelia and Nina, were by her side every step of the way. Her parents flew to Sydney to support her.

The first step of Kirstin’s treatment was a mastectomy. Three tumors were removed, and the woman received a breast implant. The procedure caused her a great deal of physical and emotional pain, but the next step was even more daunting.

Since cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, Kirstin had to undergo chemo. Speaking to 9Honey, the woman described one of the side effects that female cancer patients dread most – hair loss:

All these follicles are dying and you can feel it. There’s an obvious emotional impact – it’s like being punched in the stomach to look at your hair just falling out. But in addition, your scalp feels like it’s on fire.

More than a year after her diagnosis, Kirstin is doing much better. And she has an important message to all women:

Go for a health check-up every year and insist on a breast exam. Learn how to do a breast exam yourself, and do it on the first day of every month. Take charge of your own health!

READ ALSO: "Blink And You'd Miss It." Woman Shares One Unexpected Symptom Of Breast Cancer

A word on breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop the disease at some point in their lives. Kirstin's story is yet another proof that cancer does not discriminate – it can affect anyone.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include the following:

  1. A breast lump or thickening.
  2. Skin changes (such as dimpling) affecting the breast.
  3. Nipple changes, such as inversion.
  4. Changes in the skin surrounding the nipple, such as scaling and peeling.
  5. Nipple discharge.

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Since breast cancer may not produce any symptoms in early stages, it’s vitally important to get regular breast exams. Ladies, don’t skip your checkups, even if you feel fine!

READ ALSO: Woman Noticed A Weird Symptom Of Breast Cancer And Started An Awareness Campaign To Warn Others

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.