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Peta Hurley

$230 of AUD $1,000 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for Cancer Support WA

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Peta Hurley

Story

Dear family and friends,

 

Please help raise funds to give me the gift of my lifetime - a beautiful glass photographic portrait of myself by world-renowned portrait and fashion photographer Robbie Merritt - and support the work of an incredible local charity - Cancer Support WA.

 

To see the portrait in a larger scale please follow this link:

http://www.youarebeautiful.cancersupportwa.org.au/#!Peta-Hurley/zoom/cfvg/image1caa

 

 

Please show your support by sponsoring my portrait.

 

Thank you

Peta Hurley

 

My Story: -  I Am Invincible!

By Peta Hurley

 

“You’re invincible!” These words came from a fourteen-year-old describing her mother—me! My daughter was finally beginning to comprehend how life had been for me over the last twenty-two years. Her words reminded me of just how much I had been through and that I had survived even triumphed, over much adversity.

 

It began in 1991. I was thirty-one years old. My life at the time was very happy. I had a great job, lots of friends, and was very content with my life. I was single with no children and happily living on my own.

 

It was about October of that year when I started to get stomach pains. The symptoms persisted over the next six months while I went to a variety of doctors looking for answers. Eventually I found a doctor that was prepared to look a little deeper and decided to send me for some exploratory tests. These tests were quite invasive, very uncomfortable, and uncovered nothing!

 

Finally, I was sent to a specialist, a gastroenterologist. She diagnosed Chrohn’s disease and put me on a course of steroids. By this stage the pain was so bad and I was feeling so weak that I was unable to work. I was not able to eat a great deal as this increased the pain, so I lost quite a bit of weight.

 

At my next specialist appointment a large lump could be felt in my abdomen so I was sent to a surgeon for a consult, however, again there was no diagnosis. The surgeon agreed that the lump, whatever it was, had to be removed. I did ask the question, “Could it be cancer?” A part of me already knew it was, but I didn’t get a definite answer.

 

I was admitted to hospital in March 1992 and scheduled for surgery the next day. They did routine blood tests only to discover that my blood count was seriously low. This necessitated a speedy blood transfusion before they could operate. No wonder I had been feeling so weak.

 

The surgeon removed a lump, which was as big as his fist. It wasn’t until after the surgery that I finally had a diagnosis: bowel cancer. They had removed it all as well as surrounding lymph nodes, which were tested to see if the cancer had spread. Those areas were clear. With the cancer gone and no further treatment required, I went home to recover and get on with my life.

 

Prior to the cancer I was relatively healthy, ate well, and exercised regularly. It was at this time that I discovered Cancer Support WA, attended a support group and learned about better nutrition, meditation, and the importance of taking time for me. I took to heart their belief that, “Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” This was also the time when I discovered Louise Hay’s books and realized the important role your mind plays in not only your health but in your life.

 

Over the next few years, I had two beautiful daughters. Nine years after the first surgery, a routine colonoscopy revealed another lump in my large intestine. This meant more surgery to remove the tumor. It was recommended, but not imperative, that I have six months of chemotherapy as a precaution. Since I wanted to do everything possible to remain cancer free, I agreed to the chemo. I was fearful of what it would do to my body but not of the cancer itself.

 

On my next visit to my specialist it was suggested that I consider undergoing genetic testing because I had been so young to experience two bouts of bowel cancer. I went ahead with this simple blood test, however, the results took over a year to come back. It was discovered that in fact I did carry a gene that predisposed me to a higher risk of not only bowel cancer but also other cancers—namely uterine and ovarian cancers.

 

With this new knowledge at hand I was sent to a gynecological oncologist. He immediately wanted to perform a total hysterectomy to reduce the risk of developing further cancers. It was discovered through pathology results after the surgery that I did actually have a small tumor in my uterus.

 

My annual check-ups have been clear for five years and in cancer terms that’s as close to a cure as you can get. Yay!

 

It has been a long road and throughout it all there were moments of fear but I can honestly say that I never thought the worst. I always had a strong belief that I would get through this and that everything would be okay. Cancer gave me a gift that I will always be grateful for—to cherish the life I have no matter what it may bring. I am grateful I have been given a second and third chance and my wish is that this story helps others through their challenges and that they also see themselves as invincible.

 

Thank you,

Peta Hurley

 

 

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Cancer Support WA

For over 30 years, Cancer Support WA has helped and supported many thousands of Western Australians affected by cancer to achieve wellness, healing and improve their outcomes from cancer.

 


The money Cancer Support WA raises through fundraising enables us to provide vital free services and programs including:



  • 24 hour cancer support phone line

  • Counselling for individuals and families

  • Information packs for people newly diagnosed with cancer

  • Mentoring and grief groups

  • Cancer care packs

  • Home and hospital visits from counselling staff

  • Cancer wellness courses and seminars

  • Research, library and wellness magazine


Through your generous donation, Cancer Support WA is able to offer these services at no cost to West Australian families experiencing financial hardship due to cancer.


For more information, please visit our website.

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