Young cancer survivor mum Emma Gorrick struck with disease again
Australian mum-of-two Emma Gorrick is a true battler – in every sense of the word, a woman who isn’t willing to give up without a fight.
She revealed the possibility she could have cancer so young had never crossed her mind.
“I found the lump quite by chance one day when I was in the shower,” the 34-year-old told news.com.au.
Testing revealed the lump in her breast was a three-centimetre tumour, and she was subsequently diagnosed with estrogen-positive breast cancer.
She revealed she threw everything she could at the illness to beat it, and miraculously beat the odds to have children naturally.
Ms Gorrick’s treatment regimen to clear the disease in the first instance was extensive and included IVF, a lumpectomy to remove the lump, and six rounds of intravenous chemotherapy.
“I lost all my hair, I was extremely sick because I had no white cells. I got major infections. I spent more time in the hospital than out of the hospital,” she said.
Chemo was followed by six weeks of radiation before she was put on hormone blockers, a course of treatment designed to run for three years.
A year-a-half later, she was advised by her doctors to have a double mastectomy.
Before undergoing surgery, Ms Gorrick and her fiance Dave decided to get married.
“Once I finished my treatment and my hair had grown a couple of centimetres long, we had a low key wedding on the beach, May 2013,” she said.
Shortly after, she was back in hospital to undergo surgery to remove her breasts and to have a full reconstruction.
While this procedure was successful, Mrs Gorrick experienced major infections.
“I spent many weeks in the hospital,” she said. “I had 16 drains and a vacuum pack on my back draining away infection.”
In 2015, Mrs Gorrick was able to come off all medication and was in her own words “quite healthy”.
She focused her efforts on creating a new life, one which included starting her own business and having children.
“I was desperate to have a baby,” she said adding: “and despite being told my chances were slim to none, within eight months I had fallen pregnant with my daughter Mya.
She also beat the odds a second time, giving birth to a son Ryan, who is now 21-months-old.
Heartbreakingly, the family’s situation has changed once again following an unexpected diagnosis just months that Mrs Gorrick’s cancer had returned.
“I had started experiencing a lot of pain in my hip and although I’d had MRIs, nothing had shown up,” she said.
“I was almost due for my 18-month scan with my oncologist to see where I was at,” she said.
Her scans at the time showed her body was clear of the disease, so when she was sent for new tests the results came as the most horrific surprise.
Tests showed she had a 10-centimetre mass on her liver, spots on her spine, as well as spots on her left lymph nodes and shoulder.
Treatment to arrest her illness has been swift, aggressive and expensive.
“I have had a new treatment that isn’t funded by the PBS and is normally $15,000,” she said.
Mrs Gorrick has also started a fresh round of chemotherapy treatment.
Recent scans have revealed the cells in the tumour of the liver seem to be dying and the spots on her spine have also shrunk.
“Sadly the scan showed there are now also more lesions on my liver, there are more spots in my lymph nodes and more spots in my abdomen.”
‘I 100 PER CENT SEE A FUTURE FOR MYSELF’
Despite her situation being fraught with so much uncertainty, Mrs Gorrick has no plans to give up.
Instead, she plans to travel to Mexico to undergo treatment at the Hope4Life healing centre.
The facility, which also operates in Germany, offers a course of researched treatment which runs over three weeks and costs $75,000.
The treatment is a combination of conventional and alternative therapies and includes measures to boost the immune system, nutrition, detoxification and low-dose chemotherapy
Mrs Gorrick is expecting to have to make at least two visits to the centre, a process she and her family are desperately trying to raise funds for.
“The survival rate for those undergoing this treatment is up to 90 per cent,” she said.
“I saw a doctor last week who said to me for the first time last week that I was stage four.
“I 100 per cent see a future for myself; I just need to get the right treatment. I need to be here for my kids, they are my absolute world.
“I am going to do whatever it takes to stay here. The fight is definitely worth it.”
Originally published as Mum who beat terminal cancer struck again