Penelope was diagnosed with HER2-Positive breast cancer after a regular mammogram. 

It was only the second mammogram she’d been for, but something untoward was identified and a biopsy revealed that she had breast cancer.  “That mammogram saved my life,” she says.

Penelope had a full mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and is currently being treated with Herceptin and tamoxifen.

The 49-year-old’s treatment was complicated by other health issues and she frequently collapsed due to anaemia exhaustion. 

“The treatment was tough. After surgery I felt like I had been hit by a train and the chemotherapy does so much damage to your body.  I found it hard and overwhelming, but I want other women to know that it really does get better.”

Penelope says she carried BCAC’s Step by Step support pack with her right the way through treatment.

“The Step by Step was my bible.  It answered every question I could think to ask.  I don’t know where I would have been without it,” she says.

Penelope says she’s now very focused on staying fit and healthy.  She’s learned that she needs to limit the stress in her life.

“I realised, for the first time in my life that I had to put myself as number one.  I had to concentrate on my health and my body and let go of everything else.  And now I’m looking after myself and I feel a lot stronger and a lot less stressed.”