Above is a picture of good friend and fellow ‘Right Winger’ Katie Deal. The story below appears in today’s QLD paper – The Courier Mail:
Young mum takes radical step for sons
FAMILY HISTORY: Breast cancer survivor Katie Deal with her sons, Joshua, 4, and Oliver, 2. Picture: Jono Searle Source: The Courier-Mail
IT’S a decision many women who have a strong family history of breast cancer grapple with.
But, for Katie Deal, to have a double-mastectomy at just 30 years of age after she was diagnosed with cancer in her right breast, was the only choice – she had two young sons who needed her.
Oliver was just eight months old and Joshua two years old when Mrs Deal learned she had the same cancer suffered by her mother, aunt and grandmother before her.
“I said anything that will improve my chances – do it,” Mrs Deal said.
“If they wanted to cut my leg off, I would have said: ‘Do it.’ The survival mode is so strong as a mother. You just want to be there for your kids.”
Initially, she had a lumpectomy, to remove the tumour from her breast, then six months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.
But a year later – after taking into account she had been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease – Mrs Deal decided to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of a recurrence.
Doctors performed her reconstruction surgery at the same time.
The 32-year-old, who has since tested positive to a mutation in the breast cancer gene BRCA1, praised breast cancer charity Chicks in Pink for helping to soften the emotional kinghit that came with her diagnosis.