THRIVING IN AD­VER­SITY

TARYN CLAIRE LE NU IS KEEN TO EN­COUR­AGE PEO­PLE TO TAKE A NEW AP­PROACH WHEN DEAL­ING WITH A CAN­CER DI­AG­NO­SIS

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Books - K ELSIE I O RIO

Taryn Claire Le Nu wants to change the way the world looks at breast can­cer. Taryn calls her­self a “thriver” rather than a “sur­vivor”, and she will re­veal ex­actly why in her new book

To Can­cer With Love launch­ing this week­end.

Since her di­ag­no­sis in December 2016, she said the events that led her to re­veal­ing her story had been a whirl­wind.

“From di­ag­no­sis to the day I had both breasts re­moved was ex­actly two weeks,” she said.

“I didn’t set out, when I first was di­ag­nosed with can­cer, to write a book. It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent tra­jec­tory to al­most two years ago.” The con­cept of To Can­cer With

Love be­gan with a small, pri­vate Face­book group, which Taryn cre­ated af­ter her di­ag­no­sis to keep her loved ones in­formed.

It mor­phed into a dis­cus­sion space be­tween hun­dreds of peo­ple on how to ap­proach a neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tion with love.

“We aren’t well versed in prac­tis­ing trauma. We do good times re­ally well, but we do bad times re­ally badly,” she said.

“It re­ally was about teach­ing other peo­ple how to treat me, be­cause peo­ple don’t have that prac­tice.

“Once I put the firm bound­aries in place that (peo­ple) could only bring me love I’ve only re­ceived love, and it’s been pro­found.

“From that, I felt like that was a more em­pow­ered state.”

Taryn was di­ag­nosed the age of 41 and un­der­went a bi­lat­eral mas­tec­tomy and an aux­il­iary dis­sec­tion to re­move her lymph nodes af­ter dis­cov­er­ing her breasts looked com­pletely dif­fer­ent while lean­ing down to dry her legs af­ter a shower.

“The right breast looks like a moun­tain peak, the left breast looks like some­thing that’s been stomped on. I stand back up, it looks com­pletely nor­mal,” she writes.

“My hus­band is a GP, so I put my towel back on, march back to the kitchen, he thinks he’s go­ing to get lucky for that time of the day, so he’s got a lit­tle spring in his step, he fol­lows back to the bed­room and into the bath­room, he’s got the twin­kle in his eye.

“I keep eye con­tact, drop the towel, bend down, get back up, and his face is com­pletely ashen.’’

She said women aren’t al­ways told the warn­ing signs to look for while self-ex­am­in­ing.

“Spice things up, take it out of the bed­room. Start do­ing it stand­ing up in the shower, start do­ing it bend­ing over and hav­ing a look at shape changes. Start do­ing it in front of the mir­ror,” she said.

Three more books are ex­pected to be re­leased in the To Can­cer With

Love se­ries. To Can­cer With Love will be launched on Sun­day at the Drill Hall Stu­dio with a book sign­ing at Mary Who Book­shop next week­end. Visit www.taryn­claire­lenu.com to RSVP - ‘boo­bie bick­ies’ and bub­bles in­cluded.

TARYN CLAIRE LE NU PIC­TURE: EVAN MOR­GAN

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