Two days before Christmas of 2017, Jacqui noticed a change in the shape of her breast and saw dimpling on my skin. Concerned and confused after her mammogram was deemed clear in May 2017, Jacqui decided to see a doctor when the new year rolled in. In January 2018, she was diagnosed with a 5.2cm breast cancer and within a month, Jacqui had a bilateral mastectomy and right axillary lymph node clearance.
With 11 positive lymph nodes found, Jacqui underwent radiation and chemotherapy, using the cold cap to preserve her hair in an attempt to continue running her practice without her patients knowing her diagnosis.
As a solo doctor, Jacqui kept her practice running during her treatment, despite suffering from numerous muscular and joint reactions to the aromatase inhibitors, some of which required surgery.
Before her diagnosis, Jacqui was running at full capacity, working long hours in operating theatres as an assistant surgeon, and running her own practice. The cancer, she says, made her take stock of her life. Today, she has retired from the operating theatre and now focusses on working 4 days a week in her practice. Her advice? Don’t get to the end of the life with blinkers on, relish this opportunity to create the life you want.