My name is Renata, I’m 32-years-old and was diagnosed with a grade three, invasive breast cancer on June 2, 2015.

Seeing as I play with words for a living, I’m blogging about it to try and make sense of it all.

Just don’t call it a fucking journey.

Twitter @RenataGortan

Instagram @renatagortan

Work writing http://www.renatagortan.com

15 thoughts on “About

  1. All the best Renata. I hope it goes well for you. I’ve had BC twice .. Twelve years apart and the second mastectomy was my choice. Although my second diagnosis was a very small tumour I couldn’t live with the worry that had taken over my life for the past twelve years. I was lucky in that I was spared the whole chemo experience both times but I laughed at my surgeon when he warned me that if I chose to remove my second breast that I’d be flat-chested! Oh really?!!! And that is worse than being lopsided .. How? He’s a gorgeous man but he’s a man with a man’s view of the world. Five years further on I don’t regret my decision but it’s such a personal choice I wouldn’t consider trying to influence others. The thing that annoyed me most on both occasions was how readily people would want to tell you their own horror story of someone they knew. Talk about deflation! So much for trying to stay positive!
    You will bounce back .. I know it. Surround yourself with lovely things and lovely experiences. It’s true what they say about smelling the roses .. Arm yourself with a positive lovely experience every day. Play your favourite music VERY LOUD, and blow up some of your favourite photos to stick on the wall .. anything that makes you smile.
    Sending you lots of positive energy.



    1. Getting it once is shit, twice is fucked.
      I’m so glad you’re through it Veronica and thank you for the positive energy.


  2. It is just an awful time. I was diagnosed with BC in both breasts on 10 July 2015. The weeks since have been a blur, starting chemo, lots of doctor talk and telling family and friends. I wish you all the best Renata as this experience is just devastating.


  3. Sending you lots of love and strength Renata! I loved reading your blog entry as I could relate to it all. It really is shit and I wish you didn’t have to go through this 😦
    I was diagnosed with BC in June 2011 at the age of 34 (just celebrated 4 years cancer free). I also kept a blog http://emmataylorsjourney.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/not-what-i-was-expecting.html but I did call mine a journey. It really is a crazy word to use though (but at the time I could’t think of anything else). I mean it is not like we are going on a cruise ship or anything!! ha ha
    I just want you to know that I know exactly how you are feeling. If I can leave you with a couple of things I learnt over the months/years…. it is to always have something special in the future to look forward to. Secondly, I have learnt to say no! I can’t do everything all of the time and that’s OK.
    Take care and be kind to yourself. I’ll be following your progress.


    1. Thank you Emma, looking forward to reading your blog. It’s a great way to see how other people handled a shit situation.
      The Boy and I have our wedding to look forward to next year. It was going to be in October, but that’ll be in the middle of chemo and I didn’t want to feel sick on the day. So we’ve moved it back a year, hopefully I’ll be all clear and will have some hair back!


  4. Hi renata,
    Just wanted to say it is good for someone to write how I feel and probably a lot of others …. I was told the same thing nearly 7 years ago … Oh you are so lucky it was caught early you will be ok … Now 7 years later it has spread … Not so lucky now … Now they call it terminal !!!!! And no it’s no fucking journey … I hate that word … And the … Just stay positive and drink green juice people as well …. No amount of fucking kale is going to cure this …. 🌿😬 …. Anyways that is my rant ….
    Hoping you DO have a good outcome … And get to go on many real journeys …. By plane … Train … Boat …. The ones we do want to go one …. ☺️


    1. I am so sorry that it has spread Michelle. Cancer is a bitch.
      I also hate the idea that wellness will fix this. Yes, I’m drinking green juice because I know it’s good for me, but it’s in addition to chemo, not instead of.
      And thank you for your well wishes.


  5. Finally! Someone else who thinks “journey” is a crap word to use to describe having breast cancer. To me, a journey is a pleasant experience. I can’t say much is pleasant about cancer!
    I was diagnosed last November with a stage 3 cancer as well and did chemo first, then surgery then radiotherapy. Now I’m down to the every third week infusion of herceptin which is a walk in the park compared to the rest. It seems insurmountable at the start but, appointment by appointment, we get there!


    1. Journey is such a crap word.
      We need to come up with something better.
      What about battle, trek, fight, struggle?
      Any suggestions welcome.


      1. A slog? Kind of like one of those Tough Mudder things, but tougher. In fact, those tough mudder wimps have nothing on us BC chicks. We’ll show ’em tough!


      2. I like slog, it’s describes the shittiness of the situation but still assumes we’ll get through it



  6. Hi Renata,

    Got the Daily Telegraph yesterday and read your article. My friend Sarah was diagnosed Dec 2015 (33) has just finished 6 months of Chemo and this week started 6 weeks of radiation – same sort of situation lumpectomy and spread to lymph node she also has stored her embryos and started planning her wedding for March 2016.

    As a friend your not to sure how or what you can do to help. So we started a positive thought everyday for the 6 months of chemo – Sarah moved closer to treatment from the country to the city so we sent a text to each other everyday.

    We have kept these thoughts and have made a book. Would you like to read our thoughts to help you on those dark nights when the drugs just won’t let you sleep. We are thinking of some how putting it together and raising money for breast cancer not sure yet.



    1. That sounds lovely Tracy.
      You could contact the NBCF or McGrath Foundation? October is breast cancer awareness month so the timing could be good.


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