Leah Brooking is battling stage three breast cancer. Picture: Contributed
Leah Brooking is battling stage three breast cancer. Picture: Contributed

‘I ended up bawling my eyes out to this lady I’ve never met’

A new mum thought it was just old milk coming out of her nipples but then the discharge started turning green.

That was when 26-year-old Leah Brooking pondered whether the lump in her breast was something more than mastitis and a blocked duct.

What came next would send her life into a spiral of survival.

"I went to get a scan. They were like, 'Oh, this is actually quite bad'," Mrs Brooking said.

"As they put the needle in and tried to drain it, it was like a really happy room and then the vibe just changed straight away.

"From that moment on, it was like six different biopsies.

"Within two, three days, I knew that I had cancer."

It was October 1, 2020 - the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Mrs Brooking said it was an excruciating two-week wait to learn it was stage three, just shy of the terminal prognosis of stage four.

Brock and Leah Brooking with their son Hunter. Picture: Contributed
Brock and Leah Brooking with their son Hunter. Picture: Contributed

"I ended up bawling my eyes out to this lady that I've never met before," she said.

"I said, 'I don't know what to do, I have a son'.

"She said, 'This is not going to be easy. You've got to keep the mindset that you're not a victim, you're a survivor'.

"Ever since she said that, that's been my number one mantra."

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Mrs Brooking said she was lucky her son Hunter was still a baby who would in time forget seeing his mum fight the disease that left her extremely fatigued and bedridden.

She thanked her husband Brock for picking up where she could not.

Leah Brooking, pictured with her husband Brock, is battling stage three breast cancer. Picture: Contributed
Leah Brooking, pictured with her husband Brock, is battling stage three breast cancer. Picture: Contributed

"Having (cancer) negatively affects your family, that's more heartbreaking than the actual fight itself," Mrs Brooking said.

Leah's mum, Mackay resident Chantal Sage, said she could not stop crying when she learned of her daughter's diagnosis.

"I had to send her a message saying, 'Look honey. I'll give you a call. I just need to compose myself'," Ms Sage said.

"She was like, 'Mum, I'm not going to die for god's sake'."

But Ms Sage said thoughts ran through her mind of people who had died from cancer.

"I could see how frightened she was," the grandmother said.

"She put on a brave face but I could see deep down."

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Leah finished chemotherapy on February 9 and is scheduled for a double mastectomy on March 26.

Mrs Brooking said her latest scans had come back clear of cancer but the fight was not over yet.

If you would like to support Leah, the family has set up a GoFundMe page.


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