Western Australian mom Kate Granger opens up about shocking cancer diagnosis after discovering unusual color of breast milk.
A teacher in Western Australia is urging all women to be vigilant when checking their breasts for abnormalities after an unusual symptom during her third pregnancy led to a diagnosis of shock.
Kate Granger noticed a few weeks before the birth of her third child that her first breast milk was a discolored pinkish hue.
The 31-year-old woman, who at the time had two children under the age of three, brushed off the sign, thinking it had to do with her pregnancy. 7 Life news reports.
Ms Granger and her 35-year-old husband Joel continued to prepare for the birth of their third child, for which they had to travel 1,400 km southwest of their regional home to be closer to medical facilities.
At about 35 weeks, the expectant mother of three visited her obstetrician in Banbury where she mentioned that her colostrum, which is usually creamy, had an unusual color.
The pregnant mother was immediately referred for a breast ultrasound, and the results brought back life-changing news: Ms. Granger had developed a walnut-sized tumor in one of her breasts.
The scans also revealed swollen lymph nodes and dilated ducts throughout the affected breast, and the mother later underwent a series of biopsies and scans to determine her health status.
Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with a rare third-degree triple-negative breast cancer—cancer that doesn’t show up on any of the three receptors commonly found on breast cancer cells.
“About 15 percent of early breast cancer cases are triple negative,” says the Australian Breast Cancer Network website.
Although it is usually very sensitive to chemotherapy, it can be more aggressive with a faster rate of tumor growth, according to Breastcancer.org.
The news devastated the couple: Ms Granger told 7 News Life she wanted to take a sedative because of how upset she was.
Eventually, the parents plucked up the courage to break the heartbreaking news to their family, with Ms Granger sharing her diagnosis on Facebook.
“I am currently 37 weeks pregnant with our little one,” she said under the post, explaining that she has a life renewal.
“What should have been a peaceful time of preparation for the upcoming birth has suddenly changed.”
Ms. Granger explained her diagnosis by saying that the cancer had aggressively spread to one lymph node.
“We are meeting with a team of specialists … to find out more and develop a plan for how to safely get the child here, as well as to find out the full extent of what is happening right now,” she said.
She ended her post with the message: “Check your boobs.”
A few days after she was diagnosed, Ms. Granger was due to give birth by caesarean section or caesarean section. On February 25, she welcomed her son Heath.
Over the next week, Ms. Granger’s husband drove his wife between the maternity ward and the oncology ward for further tests and scans, the couple’s friend Holly Smith said in an interview. GoFundMe Page customize for family.
In the first week of March, Ms. Granger completed her first round of 12 weeks of chemotherapy. She will also have to undergo a double mastectomy and then possibly another round of chemotherapy in the coming months.
On March 8, the mother-of-three made the decision to donate her long blonde hair after cutting it to a bob, noting that it “will all be gone within a couple of weeks.”
“Over the past few years, I have donated my hair several times to make wigs for people with cancer and alopecia,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
“Today was my last donation for a while.”
On March 23, Ms. Smith posted an update on the family’s GoFundMe page in which she revealed that the Granger family had managed to find temporary housing, noting that they were still 1,400 km from their home in Newman.
“Chemotherapy is a bit average, but taking it daily with minimal side effects is an absolute win. Kate had some headscarves delivered, so she feels a lot better about losing her hair soon,” she said.
“Baby Heath is doing well, but his stomach hurts as he adjusts to formula. It’s still weird for Kate not to breastfeed.”
The update added a quote from Ms. Granger that reads: “It’s like muscle memory and sometimes I catch myself with my body (and heart) really confused when I give him a bottle. But now Heath weighs 3.5 kg!”
As for the couple’s other two children, Iris, 2, and Leo, 3, Ms Smith said the kids “take it easy.”
“We all know that Leo loves routine, so he has adjusted exceptionally well to the big changes in the past month. (Iris) will gladly tell anyone and everyone that “Mom has bugs in her chest!” she said.
As Ms. Granger continues her treatment, Ms. Smith is calling on everyone to support her friend’s family as they rebuild the next year of their lives away from home.
“The Grangers have been inundated with messages of love and offers of help, however, since their home base is in Newman, there are a number of logistical challenges,” Ms. Smith said.
“We have created this GoFundMe to provide support for Kate’s ongoing living expenses for accommodation, flights, meals and care as she undergoes intensive treatment in the coming months.”
The family is $2,000 short of reaching their $70,000 goal with 804 people already donating.
Ms. Granger said she was grateful for everyone’s donations and messages of support.
“Keep checking those boobs and kissing your kids,” her latest Facebook post reads.
Originally published as Aussie mom’s warning after abnormal pregnancy sign leads to life-changing diagnosis