Event Date: Sunday 14 May 2017

8 months 12 days remaining


Mary with Com Amb

Posted by Mother's Day Classic on 10 March 2016

Tags: , ,

Mary Doyle was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 25 and singing in pub bands. Last year she sang in front of a crowd of 35,000 at Melbourne's MDC. Here's her story...

"In November 1995, I was lying in bed, absent-mindedly scratching my armpit when I felt a lump in my right breast. I thought it was off and took myself off to the GP that day. As I was only 25 years old and had no family history of breast cancer I really wasn't expecting it to be anything nasty so I was surprised when my GP started filling out a form for a mammogram and ultrasound. I got the shock of my life when it was, in fact, cancer. I just couldn't believe something like that could happen to me, being so young and with no family history of the disease.

I had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed from my armpit. I was in hospital for around 10 days, just before Christmas 1995 and was relieved when the results came back from pathology that the cancer had not spread. I was extremely lucky that I found the lump when I did and that I took myself off to the GP on the very day I found it. I didn't panic when I found the lump but I did act straight away just to be on the safe side. I often wonder how things would've turned out had I not acted so quickly. I shudder to think!

At the time I was diagnosed I was working casually in a call centre and singing in a couple of pub bands. Working casually and having cancer, I had to take two months off work for treatment and I had no pay coming in, which was very difficult at the time.

In 2001 I gave birth to a son and then in 2004 a daughter. I worried a bit about the pregnancies causing a recurrence of the cancer, due to the surge of hormones, but I was lucky it never returned. I breastfed both babies successfully, even with the affected breast, and never had any problems.

I went to the very first Mother's Day Classic in 1998, when there were about 4,000 participants and have watched it grow each passing year to 10 times that size in Melbourne.

I love seeing other survivors at the event and hearing their stories. It proves that if caught early, you can overcome a breast cancer diagnosis successfully!

Share this