I knew something was wrong, but life is different now. I am normally extra cautious about health, you might even call me fanatical. Like self isolating in a pandemic for more than a year, when I didn’t have to.
I did’t even leave home for a hair cut. I could not justify spending money on myself for luxuries, finances are tight, really tight.
I was ignoring the rather large lump in my breast, I didn’t want to visit a Bali hospital during a pandemic
I knew after I received my first immunisation, I would feel a sense of freedom, I told my sister about my lump. I knew she would scream at me, I needed to be screamed at.
Why did i put myself last on a list of priorities? Actually that’s not true, before the pandemic I would travel to Australia regularly for breast mammograms.
That was before.
Now travel is only for the rich, and for people who have time.
I have let my insurance lapse, my head was spinning, where would I start?
To cut a long story short I had a USG ultrasound in an immaculate facility in Renon, Denpasar called “Prodia”.
I didn’t have to wait, I felt like a VIP.
The doctor at “Prodia” told me I had cancer.
This blew me out of the water. Surely I was dreaming, how the hell would she know? It couldn’t be Cancer, I am healthy, I pray, I have a new baby.
This blew me out of the water. Surly I was dreaming, how the hell would she know? It couldn’t be Cancer, I am healthy, I pray, I have a new baby.
I asked her how she knew?
The operator of the machine assured me she was a Doctor, that’s how she knew, and she gently explained the good news. The X-ray showed the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes.
My fear quickly turned to gratitude.
My ultrasound results boasted
BI-RADS 5 lesions, highly suspicious of malignancy.
One google report I read said that my lump had a 95% chance of being a cancerous tumour.
When I walked out of the centre I said to my husband that we needed to eat, our daughter was hungry. Normally I would burst out information immediately. When my husband, Made, asked me what happened I said I would explain at lunch.
Made is a pretty cool character, I believe though he was as shocked as I. He had been doing energy healing on my lump, I had also, it just didn’t add up to either of us.
The next seven days became a whirlwind of decisions and emotions.
My sister is my rock, she has taken on a role that I would never believe possible.
My little sister has become the older wiser sibling, pushing me to return to the strong fighter I have been in the past.
Pushing me to make decisions, to think clearly and to sort it out.
I gathered my strength and contacted two women, one in Australia and one in Bali. Both women are leaders, both are highly respected health professionals. Both women said I should return to Australia as the first choice for treatment.
The complications of travelling in a COVID-19 world are harsh, the paperwork required for an exemption from quarantine in Australia for health reasons is complex.
The price of the flights are outrageous. The travel time from Bali to Melbourne was up to 40 hours with layovers and overnight stays in various countries. Garuda were sold out until May.
I was not sleeping at night because of the thought of being away from my family. My stress level and anxiety was skyrocketing, something had to change.
The thought of having a biopsy and possible mastectomy in the general hospital was making me feel weak, I have had friends die there. More nightmares and confusion.
My sister took control, like a ray of hope, money appeared in my account. My 85 year old father who has come back into my life recently became my saviour.
He told me he knew there must have been a reason why he is still alive, to look after his first born child.
- I was referred to Endrawati Cancer Centre or ECC at the Prima Medika Hospital, Cancer Centre Services – Prima Medika Hospital and met with Doctor Melati an oncologist and advocate of beast cancer awareness in Bali.
My worries washed away like an ocean of relief, I felt instantly calm in the presence of Dr Melati. She examined my breast, studied the X-ray results and gently explained what she believed was the best way forward.
Tomorrow I will be put under general anaesthetic and Dr Melati will take a biopsy, the diagnosis of the biopsy will determine if my lump is malignant, if it is cancerous she will perform a mastectomy.
My husband is continuing healing work on my lump. I continue to visualise my lump going away gently. Maybe I will be in that lucky 5%. I believe it is a good omen that the process will take place in the middle of Galungan dan Kuningan. Our Balinese Hindu faith believes our ancestors are visiting earth twice a year for 10 days.
I remember my mum having the same procedure when I was about 11 years old. She said to me “Sharon, when I wake up I don’t know if I will have one booby or two”. My Mother’s lump was benign.
What ever will be is okay, I am now at peace with my decision.