June 04, 2019 0 comments

Robyn’s Brave Battle

Leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, Robyn Dawkins loved living life to the fullest, travelling the world with her loving husband John and enjoying time with family.

You can imagine her heartbreak when, in 2007 at age 61, she received the devastating news she had triple negative breast cancer.

“I was in shock. I had no typical signs of breast cancer and had just gone for my usual two-yearly check-up,” Robyn said.

“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was to tell my mother, who’d lost her mother to breast cancer when she was pregnant with me, that I had cancer.”

Triple negative breast cancer is one of the most heartbreaking forms of breast cancer and chemotherapy is no guaranteed success. Patients that fail chemotherapy only have a survival rate of 12 months.

Robyn knew she faced a battle and was determined not to let cancer define her, always maintaining her positive attitude and fighting spirit.

The size of Robyn’s tumour shocked doctors so she immediately began chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. It was during chemotherapy that a special friend suggested she write a fiction novel to take her mind off her cancer diagnosis.

“Initially I thought there would be no way I would be able to complete a novel but I began thinking of characters and storylines while I was having my chemo treatments and suddenly I had a story that was coming to life,” Robyn said.

“Although it took me a few years to complete, when I began thinking about writing the novel during chemotherapy it definitely got my mind off things and helped on some difficult days.”

Thanks to research advancements and the amazing support from John and daughter Karen, Robyn got through her treatment and was cleared of breast cancer!

Unfortunately, she still faces more health issues resulting from her treatment and is now living with cardiomyopathy (heart failure) due to the chemotherapy. But she does not let this shake her spirit.

“I’m maintaining my health by living a healthy life, eating well and regularly exercising.”

After publishing her novel, called Westerly Winds, Robyn is donating part proceeds of her sales to ABCR. The story is set mostly in Tasmania, in the mid 1890s, early 1900s and in modern day times.

“This is my way of contributing to breast cancer research so better treatment options can become available so my daughter doesn’t have to go through what I did.”

If you would are interested in purchasing a copy of Robyn’s book, please email robyndaw@optusnet.com.au

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