It is our great pleasure to introduce to you Ann Greco, an amazingly energetic woman who has graciously agreed to share her story with us for our third edition of “Breast Cancer Stories” blog series.
Breasts come in all shapes and sizes and many women will develop breast problems at some point in their lives. Fortunately, most breast abnormalities are normal responses to common hormonal changes. However early detection of breast cancer means a 98 percent survival rate and gives women time to consider surgery and treatment alternatives.
Here at Vivid Photography and Imaging, we have jumped on board with The National Breast Cancer Foundation, to produce a glamorous book showcasing women just as Ann who have either had breast cancer or have supported loved ones during their time of need. We believe that by having these wonderfully courageous women share their Breast Cancer Stories with us it will be a source of encouragement to all out there.
Breast Cancer Stories: Tell Us Your Story
My name is Ann , I’m 56yrs old , I’m energetic , loyal and love the outdoors. I work in age care as manager for Home Care. I volunteer for SES and recently taken on Salsa dancing. I’m divorced and have two children. A daughter who passed away at 17yrs old due to illness and my beautiful boy who is nearly 21 who has made me a very proud mum.
Tell us how did you come to find out you had breast cancer?
I was 42 years old when I went in for a regular check-up. A lump was picked up with ultrasound size of pea; my breast specialist recommended a full mastectomy due to the size being larger than predicted. I didn’t think twice and I went ahead with surgery.
Tell us about the ACTUAL day you had officially been diagnosed with breast Cancer?
I received a call from my doctor saying the results from biopsy were in, I was anxious and scared. I had my son with me when I saw the doctor. Looking back at it, it was a blessing as I didn’t want to scare my son. But when we returned home I burst into tears with fear.
What treatments did you do?
No treatment required after mastectomy.
Tell us about your hardest day?
10 years after first diagnosed small lump appeared on the scar of breast, which was the same breast as first diagnosis and in the same spot. I couldn’t believe the chances of reoccurring. I was diagnosed at stage 3 and needed chemo and radiation. During my treatment I lost my mother at the age of 65.
Who were the people around you that you felt supported you the most?
My wonderful partner of 15 years, my siblings and friends
Tell us about the day you were cancer free?
Not sure if I’m cancer free as it’s been nearly 2 years, regular check-up is vital.
Did you do anything to celebrate after being cancer free?
This specific shoot – I had some semi-nude photos done with Murielle Sassine.
What would you say to anyone who is just starting the breast cancer journey?
Remain positive and continue to celebrate life as normal. Reach out to family and friends for support. It’s a tough journey, breast cancer is curable.
How has the photography session with Murielle Sassine helped with your self-esteem?
I felt comfortable showing my scar, I’ve learnt to own them and I am proud.
How is life now that you are cancer free? How do you approach life differently now?
Yes definitely, I joined SES volunteer to give back to the community.