Mum's persistence uncovers breast cancer
LAST year, tests came back telling Triona Shannon lumps in her breasts were clear of cancer, but her intuition told her something was wrong.
After insisting on more ultrasounds, the 39-year-old mother of two was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, months after first finding the lump.
"I first noticed a lump back in August 2017 and had a mammogram and ultrasound that came up clear," Mrs Shannon said.
"It progressively got larger and larger so I had another ultrasound in January again which came back clear and they said there was no need for a biopsy."
Mrs Shannon's General Practitioner wasn't confident with the results, so she referred her to a breast surgeon in Ballina.
"The breast surgeon insisted that I go for another ultrasound. The stenographer said the images from my January ultrasound had change quite significantly within the three-month period," Mrs Shannon said.
"I had a biopsy that day and four days later I found out there was cancer cells.
"A few weeks later I had a lumpectomy where they found three tumours not just one.
"One was the size of a golf ball and two out of the three were metastasising, so they were spreading the cancer, and they removed seven lymph nodes from my armpit."
Today , Mrs Shannon will be going into surgery for a mastectomy and once recovered she will start receiving rounds of chemotherapy.
"The GP and breast surgeon said if it wasn't for me insisting having repeat ultrasounds it could have gotten a lot worse," Mrs Shannon said.
As Mrs Shannon battles the cancer, her friends have rallied to raise funds for the family.
On Saturday from 10am to 1pm there will be a clothes drive and raffle with all proceeds going to Mrs Shannon.
Organiser of the Northern Rivers Fashion Market at Riley Burnett, Renae Barnes, said they wanted to support Mrs Shannon and her family while she receives treatment.
"She is going to be going through a really difficult time in the coming months and anything we can do to make it a little bit easier for her financially, that's what it is all about," Ms Barnes said.
"I think chemotherapy runs until January or February, so during that time she's not going to be able to work."
Ms Barnes said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and the amount of clothes and raffle prizes already donated.
"It just keeps coming in, the generosity of the community has been amazing and the raffle that we are holding, it's people and businesses that don't even know Triona have just come on board," she said.
"It just makes you proud to be a local and living in this community."
Mrs Shannon's friends have also set up a PayPal account, which has already raised more than $1000, for those who cannot make it on the day but still want to donate.
"The community is absolutely amazing and I think my friends are even shocked as well with the support," Mrs Shannon said.
"It's a shame it has taken terrible news to realise how many incredible friends I have. I mean, I always knew but I never thought they would go to these lengths, I feel very blessed."
"I got an anonymous $300 Coles voucher in my letter box."
Her message to all women is to keep an eye on your body changing and do daily checks of your breasts.
"I've been doing daily checks for probably four years now," Mrs Shannon said.
Head down to 1/80-84 Ballina St, Lennox Head this Saturday to show your support or donate via PayPal.
"Let's just punch cancer in the face and help her through this," Ms Barnes said.