INSPIRING STORIES - We are indeed Fighters!
Women are indeed FIGHTERS!!!
A Great Example is Gold medallist Kerryn McCann fighting to save self and baby.
Courtesy of http://www.news.com.au/
McCann had given herself no room for great regret. A grounded and sunny
woman, she seemed to have that perfect mix life dispenses sparsely to a
few of the fortunate.
In a career like hers, where success
could actually be measured by a clock, it seemed this marathon runner
was living two lives to her personal best -- bearing and raising kids
are regularly odd bedfellows with an athlete still in forward motion.
slowed down for her pregnancies only temporarily and was enjoying a
modest bask in the respect of her peers and the nation who cheered her
to a breathtaking marathon win in Melbourne's Commonwealth Games last
But 10 weeks ago, somebody carelessly moved the witches' hats.
of the way through her third pregnancy, she was diagnosed with a
category three breast cancer, the most aggressive type. Her child was
delivered six weeks early so she could fast-track chemotherapy
Since then, McCann, 40, has been pushing against a tide of demons to get out of the rough.
winning the toughest mental fight of her life, but daily untangling the
string of small regrets and guilts for things out of her control.
"I know the most important thing is to get better. But it's just hard, feeling robbed at this time,''
says McCann, with a soft glance down at six-week-old Cooper.
at not being able to breastfeed her newborn. Feeling deprived of that
spotless joy that should come with ushering in a new life. Heartache at
seeing him in a snarl of feeding tubes and drips.
her well-publicised plight has drawn so much attention, when an army of
other women who have endured the same has gone unnoticed.
frustration that she didn't get the lump in her breast seen to months
earlier when she first noticed it. Embarrassment she knew nothing about
breast cancer until it hit her.
And, up there with the hardest
of all, the wrench at seeing Greg, her husband of 16 years, falter with
her own freshly exposed mortality.
But unless they had said
so, you would not know the McCann house in Coledale, north of
Wollongong in NSW, was experiencing anything except that cocoon-like
hush that wads a family in the early weeks of a newborn's homecoming.
turmoil didn't dump on them suddenly; rather, it rose like floodwaters.
McCann noticed a small lump at the lower part of her right breast early
in her pregnancy but thought nothing of it.
It grew a little
and it seemed to be fixed inside her chest wall. Unconcerned, she
didn't mention it to her doctor until the sixth month, when it was
shaped like a 2.5cm-long key.
"Even then, I didn't think it
was serious -- I only mentioned it because I thought it was a blocked
milk duct and it would affect my breastfeeding,'' McCann says.
the wave of health professionals who swept McCann from her feet in the
rush to the surgeon's operating table soon convinced her of its
Not initially, though. Early on, she remembers feeling annoyed at all the commotion. She isn't one for fuss.
one test I came out feeling really angry that they should stress a
pregnant woman so much over probably nothing,'' she says.
"I was not in a high-risk group; there was no family history of breast cancer.''
But biopsies confirmed the unexpected worst and the couple were fearful of the future for the first time.
Her three main doctors -- surgeon, obstetrician and oncologist -- embarked on a mini-debate about how things should proceed.
oncologist believed the tumour needed to be shrunk by chemotherapy
before the surgeon removed it, but the obstetrician said this could
harm her unborn child, so surgery went ahead without the chemo.
The lump and three lymph nodes -- one node the cancer had spread to -- were removed without incident.
was hard, but I left it up to them, really,'' she says. ``I certainly
didn't want to harm my baby, but I wanted to live, too. There were two
us to think about.''
After that early activity, McCann,
quietly spoken and generous in her conversation, chuckles about the
aches and pains she felt after surgery.
``Oh, it's in my hips,
in my shoulder,'' she says dramatically, describing her baseless worry
the cancer was showing up elsewhere in her body.
after surgery and 34 weeks into a 40-week gestation, McCann went into
induced labour. Her obstetrician was confident of her baby's strength
if he was born early and gave her steroids to bolster his lungs.
that point, as if to confirm, Cooper from his basket in the corner of
the McCann living room lets out a gutsy wail. Nothing wrong with those
He was born at 11.15pm on September 5. He was a healthy
5lb 3oz -- only 1 1/2 pounds lighter than his older siblings Benton and
Josie at full term.
``But it was really hard seeing him with
the tubes and drip and monitor -- this tiny little baby,'' she says.
``That hurt, seeing him like that.
``I had badly wanted to
breastfeed him -- I thought I could feed him for a few days before my
chemo started, but the next morning I was in having scans. I was
injected with dye, so I couldn't feed him.''
And then she adds: ``But you ride with it. Yes, it's just the way it had to be.''
and Greg could only pat him in his ``premmie'' crib. They look back now
and smile at how they would constantly tangle their hands in the tubes.
``I felt guilty, seeing him there like that. It was so cruel,'' she says.
emotion, when coupled with words of friend and fellow marathon runner
Steve Moneghetti, say a lot about McCann's grounded character.
Moneghetti spent hundreds of kilometres at her side in conversation as they trained.
doesn't see herself as overly talented, or gifted or strong or famous.
Just someone who is who she is. And she's tough,'' he says.
``She's the female version of your good Aussie bloke.''
Every three weeks, McCann has chemotherapy, which saps her of energy for a few days and has left her with no hair.
More practical than prissy, though, she's looking on the bright side.
wig's heaps nicer than my own hair. Though sometimes I give myself a
scare when I look in the mirror and see me without hair,'' she says,
``Benny helped me shave off my hair before it fell
out, then I gradually showed Josie (4) over the next few days that I
had no hair. She kept handing me my wig and telling me to put my hat
Josie interjects during the conversation with
little-girl whispers. Each time she enters the room adorned in
increasingly serious fairy princess dress-ups. She wants a drink. A
ruler. Her brother's sandwich.
McCann accepts the interruptions with a measured patience.
kids are, after all, what gave her context in her long-distance racing.
They turned her into a better runner, because she worked out there was
more to life than running.
Husband Greg lives in awe of her
dedication to motherhood, which he describes as something she embraces
with a combination of warmth and precision.
She'd spend a
whole day on the floor with 10-year-old Benny, helping assemble a
troublesome toy construction, or take Josie sightseeing.
is an underground coalminer. He emerges blinking from his 12-hour
shifts in the black of earth, smudged with coaldust and sweaty. When he
turned up for his first shift after results from his wife's breast-lump
biopsy came in, 400m below the surface at the coalface, he started to
reveal the news to his mates. But he broke down in the telling and has
been off work since.
``I did -- I collapsed at work and I'm not too proud to say so,'' Greg says.
``It was terrible. Just terrible. I was wondering if we would both get to see our baby grow up.''
The change of fate rammed into him like a jackhammer.
way she's looked after her diet, her body and, well, she's always doing
things like Sudokus for her mind, I thought she'd be perfectly OK until
she turned 100 . . .''
He's composed, but serious and adds as an afterthought: ``I'd better start looking after myself, too.''
is not likely to run more marathons. Even before the cancer, she had
not expected to compete at the Beijing Olympics. Half-marathons will
probably be more her race, perhaps in a less-pressured semi-retirement.
Each day she's not having treatment she runs for 30 minutes. And she's counting the days to Christmas, when the chemo finishes.
In the meantime, she puts one foot in front of the other. Of all people, Kerryn McCann knows exactly how to do that.
Kerryn McCann is indeed a very With the support with of her family by simply understanding women Everyone should be looking on the bright side like what she did. We will always be inspire with your STORY Kenny McCann. If you want tips and suggestion for understanding women emotions you can try to learn at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MsMorrisonSpeaks/2008/12/16/Understanding-Womens-Emotions-and-Investing this will help you understand better about attitudes of women.
inspiring person and I personally admire her for here talent and
attitude. She doesn't see herself as overly talented, or gifted or
strong or famous. Just someone who is who she is.
emotions and needs also help her out to overcome things and continue
Kerryn McCann is indeed a very
With the support with of her family by simply understanding women
Everyone should be looking on the bright side like what she did. We will always be inspire with your STORY Kenny McCann.
If you want tips and suggestion for understanding women emotions you can try to learn at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MsMorrisonSpeaks/2008/12/16/Understanding-Womens-Emotions-and-Investing this will help you understand better about attitudes of women.
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