Dawn’s brave cancer fi ght

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - Photo: EVAN MOR­GAN

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.’’

Photo: EVAN MOR­GAN

POS­I­TIVE: Dawn and Trevor Glee­son with Taj, 2, and Shae, 11 months, at their An­nan­dale home

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