After learning about local mum and business owner Kate Petersen’s experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47 and her efforts to help raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Care WA, Melville Mums reached out to help share her story and raise much-needed funds.
Hi there, I’m Kate! I’m a 47-year-old, busy working Mum with two beautiful boys, Lachie (aged 12) and Oliver (nearly 10). I run my own home styling business (Kate Petersen Design) and I also work in the mining sector. I love giving back to our community and volunteer as often as I can at both of our boys’ schools and at various sporting clubs. My husband, Justin, and I love keeping active with our boys and as a family we spend as much time as we can in the great outdoors with our dog, Chilli, tagging along! 🌳 ❤️
In June this year I had a routine 2-yearly mammogram (which I have done since the age of 40) and after a series of tests and biopsies, I was shocked to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer. How can this be?! I’m too busy and fit for this to happen and I have no family history of breast cancer!
The months of June and July were a total blur and during this time I had a left breast mastectomy and full axillary clearance of my left arm lymph nodes (during COVID so no visitors except my husband). Much to my astonishment, the pathology report of my left breast showed that it was in fact riddled with cancer and unfortunately it had spread to one of my lymph nodes. I then started chemotherapy on 13th August.
Normally a private person on such matters, I couldn’t help but share my journey as I could not believe that as a fit, healthy person I had no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. I had in fact run 30kms of the Margaret River Ultra Marathon a few weeks prior so to say I was completely gobsmacked with the diagnosis would be an understatement!
My chemotherapy journey has been a challenging one and that has been very hard on my body physically and mentally. As a result I am having to take a break from work and my usual routines. There have been many highs, lows, tears, meltdowns and laughter along the way! I have been so overwhelmed with all of the love and support of my family, friends (old and new) and the local community. Without this support my journey would be even tougher. All going to plan, my last round of chemotherapy will be in mid-October, a few weeks shy of my 48th birthday.
The support I have received from my incredible surgeon, oncologist, breast care nurses at Bethesda Hospital, SJOG Murdoch and Breast Cancer Care WA has been amazing. They have, and continue to, support me at a physical and mental health level. For this, I am incredibly grateful as I am still coming to terms with my original diagnosis, let alone the rest of my journey so far.
As I love a good fundraiser, to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Care WA and to remind women to check their breasts and have regular mammograms, I am participating in the IGA Purple Bra Day on 24th September 💜
I will in fact be having chemotherapy on this day but decided that I wanted to take back some control as my usually normal life has been completely turned upside down. In mid-August, after my first round of chemotherapy, I actually shaved off my long locks and donated them to the Pony Tail Project. I decided that I would not be dictated by cancer when I would lose my hair!!
Please help to support me and this amazing cause and raise awareness for this silent disease. Remember I had no lump, signs or symptoms and ended up having a breast full of cancer! If it weren’t for my routine check I would hate to think where I would be. Together we can do this and beat this disease 💜
Please share my story and remind all those that you love to have their health-related checks…and to wear their purple bra on 24th September. Thank you for supporting me 💜
To make a donation, head to Kate’s Purple Bra Day fundraising page. No matter how big or small, every donation ensures that vital funds are going towards providing personalised support and care to West Australians affected by breast cancer.