In September 2014, aged 28, Jenna Clark became a mother for the first time. Just weeks later, she was faced with a cancer diagnosis.
When I was pregnant and attending regular appointments at Sydney’s RPA hospital, I would often walk past neighbouring Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
While I recall thinking how hard it must be for those otherwise ‘every day’ people, I also remember thinking it looked like such a warm and welcoming place.
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How could a cancer hospital look like that? I could never have predicted that seven weeks after giving birth I would be on the other side of that glass attending Chris O’Brien Lifehouse myself.
Everything went so smoothly with the arrival of our daughter, Summer.
We were smitten – exhausted, but smitten – and blissfully happy. When I showed up for our six-week post birth check-up, my GP suggested we do a cervical screening. Although it wasn’t exactly what I felt like doing after just giving birth, I agreed. That choice quite possibly saved my life.
When I received the phone call requesting I go back to the doctor to discuss the results, my heart sank... I will never forget the feeling of my back sliding against the nursery door as I slowly fell to the floor.
The doctor sat me down, gave me a pile of pamphlets and the test results, and explained that I had an appointment for the following Monday morning at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. It was Friday. And so began the longest weekend of my life.