Jayne Montgomery

Jayne Montgomery hired a Wellington movie theatre for her Pink Ribbon Breakfast event. She was blown away when her fundraising page hit $1,000 in just three hours of its launch, saying it’s a great feeling to see the continued love and support that has been with her throughout her own whirlwind experience of cancer.

The breast cancer in my left breast was picked up after a second routine mammogram in October 2020. It came completely out of the blue as I had no noticeable lumps or concerns around breast health. I was 47 years old.

The tumour was 25mm in size, grade 2, oestrogen and progesterone receptor positive.

An MRI-guided biopsy then found I had cancer in my right breast too.

Waiting for the results of this biopsy took a long time to come. I already had the cancer diagnosis for my left breast confirmed and surgery booked, when they discovered that the right was also a “problem”.

I couldn’t wait, so went ahead and had a mastectomy of my left breast. While recovering from surgery the results confirming the cancer in my right breast finally came through. It was a much smaller lump, 7.2mm, also grade 2. I had another mastectomy three weeks later.

It was very much a whirlwind, and quite traumatic. Even the doctors said “this has been really rough”.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ was amazing at providing advice and support as well as counselling, and physiotherapy. I didn’t realise how surgery would affect my body, so the physio and rehabilitation Pilates classes have been a huge help. The Foundation’s mybc app was another great resource to engage with others who were on the same journey as me. Until then, I didn’t know anyone else with breast cancer except my Mum’s sister. Her cancer was not hereditary.

I was really apprehensive about having chemotherapy as my only point of reference was from movies where people look incredibly sick but fortunately, it wasn’t like that. I ended up having six months of chemotherapy, followed by three weeks of radiation, and I kept working as much as I could throughout which was great for my mental health.

In October 2021 I came full circle, having my breast reconstruction surgery, almost exactly one year to the day of my diagnosis and previous operations.

Three weeks’ post-reconstruction surgery, I participated in Breast Cancer Foundation’s October Street Appeal, and went out collecting donations with my daughter. I really wanted to be out there and start giving back.

It can be a difficult process for the family. My diagnosis came the day before my daughter’s 16th birthday and my reconstruction surgery was on my son’s birthday the following year. But throughout it all, my two children have been so resilient, and mature. 

I held a Pink Ribbon Breakfast , to raise awareness for the Foundation and for breast health overall.

On the day, I am looking forward to being among friends and family and sharing a relaxing afternoon together. It’s a great feeling to see that continued support and love that has been with me throughout my experience. I’ve never felt so blessed and so loved.