When Alisha walked into her doctor’s office on December 21 last year, her eyes were drawn to the colour red.
On the doctor’s desk was some paperwork with Alisha’s name written in red across it. And then two words were printed beneath: Cancer checklist.
“Nothing was ticked,” 29-year-old Alisha told Mamamia, “so I just thought it was precautionary.”
But when she sat down, her partner settling himself in the chair beside her, the doctor simply said: “You have breast cancer.”
Watch: Briony Benjamin, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, gives us an insight into her life. Post continues.
She cried, and then froze, unable to take a word in from the specialist.
Alisha’s partner grabbed her and said, “It’s okay. We’ll get through it,” and took the lead with the doctor, asking all the questions that needed to be asked.
It was Stage 3. Advanced. Aggressive.
She would need treatment. Fast. But her case wasn’t straightforward.
Because Alisha was pregnant.
“Oozing a little bit of clear liquid.” What Alisha noticed in July 2017
It was winter 2017 when Alisha, then 27, noticed a lump on her nipple.
“It looked like my nipple was infected. It was oozing a little bit of clear liquid, and being a mother who had breastfed years ago… sometimes you’d get a little spot or something,” Alisha said.
At first it wasn’t alarming.
But then Alisha noticed her nipple almost sticking to her bra, and eventually her nipple “cracked open”.
She went to the doctor and was sent for an ultrasound, then to hospital.