Helping others in the face of adversity

Pic of Alana Romeo. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 210598_01

Tate Papworth

It was supposed to be the happiest of times, but in June last year Alana Romeo’s life changed forever.

Just five weeks after marrying the love of her life and two days before her honeymoon, Ms Romeo discovered she had breast cancer.

She had visited a local doctor in Hillside who examined her lump and told told her it was fat.

But the lump began to I thought nothing of it till it began to grow and because I was leaving for my European honeymoon I thought I needed a second opinion.

From that she was diagnosed with HER2 negative and HR positive cancer, common for women who are in their 40s.

Ms Romeo is only 27.

It may be a life changing experiece, but Ms Romeo was determined to not let it beat her.

“I had two grade 3 tumours, finding the second one in my first ultra sound,” she said.

“My world was completely turned upside down. I completed 4 rounds of hardcore chemotherapy however decided that I would return to school in term four.

“I did chemotherapy once a week and taught full time at my high school in Hoppers Crossing.”

A year on from diagnosis, Ms Romeo is turning her attention to helping other women going through a similar journey.

“Right after I had my mastectomy I decided I needed to share my story with others,” she said.

“I wanted to share the whole experience from the side effects of chemotherapy to what I used during treatment including skin care, diet and how to put on a scarf.

She went on to start an Instagram page Life.of.lana.26 and started blogging onher website

“I make an effort to respond to anyone who messages me about their own experiences and have helped a few women who have recently been diagnosed offering support,” Ms Romeo said.

“My hopes in the future is to create a Women’s network or workshops where we are able to speak freely and are supported in the many

adversities we face every day.”