News

Gladstone woman reclaiming her life after breast cancer

Lana Rhodes Want to show that cancer can affect young people, and has a huge impact on your life/body. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
Lana Rhodes Want to show that cancer can affect young people, and has a huge impact on your life/body. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards260915CANC

BY THE end of Monday, Gladstone's Lana Rhodes hopes to rediscover her femininity.

After two tortuous years, Lana is in Brisbane preparing for breast reconstruction surgery.

The 28-year-old says she lost a lot of self confidence when doctors were forced to remove both her breasts during her battle with cancer.

While it will be another two weeks before she returns to her home city after Monday's operation, she is already planning to host a "booby party" and the thought of going bra shopping brings a big smile to her face.

For the past two years every time Lana has looked at herself in the mirror she has been reminded of just how cruel life can be.

A scar runs across her chest from one armpit to the other - the result of a bilateral mastectomy.

While the mastectomy ended the cancer, it was just another step along the psychological and emotional journey she has faced.

Now, preparing for her breast reconstruction, she says she's feeling relieved and proud.

"I can't wait to go bra shopping. It's going to be fantastic."

"I'm nervous, anxious and excited all at the same time.

"I'm feeling a lot of relief too, after such a long journey I feel like it's finally come to an end and there's some happiness at the end of the journey.

She said she wanted to put the sickness behind her and focus on being happy.

"My treatment finished years ago but my journey wasn't over.

"This is the beginning of the end of my cancer battle."

>> READ: Seeing mastectomy scars 'the worst day of my life'

Lana had her breasts removed three months after she was diagnosed with cancer.

An option of immediate reconstruction was not offered at the risk of the cancer returning.

"It destroyed me (having my breasts removed).

"I remember going to hospital, and I was still with my ex at the time, he turned to me and said, 'are you ready' and my reply was no.

"That really just burnt into my mind, it was the last moment of normality that I had."

She said losing her breasts was a big knock to her self-confidence.

"I also didn't have any hair at the time, so to lose that last feminine feature just destroyed me."

Lana, a proud, strong young woman, hid her pain from her friends and family.

She always had chemotherapy done on her own, and said she would bare a smile in the toughest of times.

She never showed her scars to her friends or family.

She saw them as a horrible reminder of the toughest time of her life.

But, in a bid to show the harrowing aftermath of cancer, she posed for photos, baring all, for this paper.

"I couldn't stand to show anyone. It just hurt too much, it gave me too many memories, it was too much of a reminder of what cancer did to me."

Ms Rhodes was always happy and healthy.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, her son had just turned one.

It was also on her 27th birthday that she first met her oncologist.

"It was a horrific time - it was a huge tumour that no one expected to be breast cancer.

"I felt tired, I was a stay at home mum, my fiancé was working away and I didn't think it was unusual to feel tired.

"I find it really hard at the moment to remember because I am trying to be so positive."

As her journey comes to an end, Ms Rhodes wants young women to know they are not immune to the disease.

Breast cancer is expected to remain the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2015.

"It's not selective and it can hit anyone at any time of their life."

Topics:  breast cancer breast cancer awareness editors picks gladstone pink ribbon



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

PHOTOS: Gladstone's hottest models to fight for $50K prize chance

The MAXIM swim wear model search will be at Tannum Sands on Saturday.

HUGE BRAND name coming to Gladstone to pick and choose our best.

Gladstone's 10 worst streets for violent attacks revealed

VIOLENT ATTACK: Police have been called to a staggering 225 assaults in the past year.

ONE CROWDED street is by far the most dangerous.

Popular business man deeply regrets selling his name

Len Smith is now enjoying retirement after years of running the business.

WELL-KNOWN Gladstone man regrets selling his name with his business.

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

PHOTOS: Gladstone's hottest models to fight for $50K prize chance

The MAXIM swim wear model search will be at Tannum Sands on Saturday.

HUGE BRAND name coming to Gladstone to pick and choose our best.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Gladstone's 20 cheapest properties on the market, all under $150K

DIRT CHEAP: 5/239 Sun Valley Rd, Kin Kora is selling for $140,000

PROPERTY sellers drop prices as houses and units sell for bargains.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!