Dawn’s brave cancer fi ght
BREAST cancer survivor Dawn Gleeson, the wife of Crocodiles coach Trevor, has gone public with her health battle to send a message of warning to other women. The 33-year-old mother of Shae, 11 months and Taj, 2, has started a blog to share her breast cancer journey. REPORT: page 3
DECIDING to have a double mastectomy would be tough for many people, talking about it publicly even harder, but for brave, young mother and breast cancer survivor Dawn Gleeson the choice was easy.
With the support of her husband, Townsville Crocodiles coach Trevor Gleeson, Ms Gleeson wants to spread the word to all young women to be vigilant about examining their breasts for signs of cancer.
The 33-year-old mother-oftwo has created a blog to share her breast cancer journey with other women and she plans to show it to her 11-month-old daughter Shae when she is old enough to understand.
Doctors are very optimistic about Ms Gleeson’s recovery as the cancer was caught early at stage one, she is undergoing hormone treatment which will cause her to go into premature menopause and she has made the decision to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction mid-year.
Ms Glees on first dis - covered a small lump in her breast while showering just three months ago.
‘‘ When you’re only 33, incredibly healthy ,don’t smoke or drink and have no family history, cancer is the furtherest thing from your mind,’’ she said.
‘‘ I didn’t think much of it but I told Trevor and he said to get it checked out straight away. A few days later I went to the doctor and he said he thought it was probably nothing but I should go and get an ultrasound just in case. I sat on the referral letter for about a month because it was just the furtherest thing from my mind.’’
After going for her ultrasound doctors ordered a bi- opsy and Ms Gleeson gave them her husband’s phone number to call when they had the results.
‘‘ Trevor called me and said ‘ the doctors said it isn’t good news – it’s positive’,’’ she said.
‘‘ I was still that completely unconcerned that I had to ask him what he meant, I said, ‘ positive for what?’
‘‘ That’s why I want to get the word out there that young women like me can get breast cancer.’’
Ms Gleeson said despite her ordeal she was extremely positive.
‘‘ It’s not a bad thing to be faced with your own mortality sometimes,’’ she said.
‘‘ Already I feel the cancer has given me more than it has taken away. It’s completely t reatable i t will never be back again.
‘‘ I enjoy every minute now – life really is a gift.’’
Mr Gleeson said he was proud of how his wife had handled the situation.
‘‘ I think she’s been very inspirational wit h how open she’s been,’’ he said.
‘‘ She doesn’t tick many of t he boxes f or a t ypical breast cancer patient so it just goes to show it can happen to anyone.’’
POSITIVE: Dawn and Trevor Gleeson with Taj, 2, and Shae, 11 months, at their Annandale home