Mother of Two Shares Chilling Story Behind This Happy Picture: ‘How Can You Not Feel the Cancer?’

Kirsten Pretorius breast cancer
Maurice and Kirsten Pretorius. Courtesy Kirsten Pretorius/Instagram

Kirsten Pretorius, a mother of two from Australia, was on vacation with her family when she posed for a photo with her husband, Maurice. In the image, the couple, who have been married for 10 years, smile brightly for the camera. Kirstin with her shiny blonde hair and glowing complexion appears to be the picture of health. But looks can be deceiving. Weeks later, doctors discovered a lump. Pretorius was living with breast cancer — and she had absolutely no idea.

“I look at this picture . . . and all I can think is ‘KIRSTIN how can you not know that there are 3 tumors thriving away in your breast? How can you not FEEL the cancer slipping into your lymph nodes?” the 34-year-old wrote in an Instagram that was posted in July but just recently started gaining attention. “‘Why don’t you FEEL sick? How can you be so stupid!?’ But I didn’t know and I didn’t feel.”

It’s not exactly what we had planned, but there will always be moments of magic ? #cancerfighters #rockingitbald

A post shared by Kirstin Pretorius (@kicking_the_big_c) on

In her post, Pretorius noted that she follows a “virtually-vegan” diet and exercises regularly. She wants all women to know that cancer doesn’t discriminate. “If my doctor hadn’t examined me, I’d still be blissfully unaware,” she shared. “I’d be packing my little plastic-free super food lunches for my girls, lecturing them on healthy lifestyles. I’d be chemically-free cleaning my home wondering why the whole world doesn’t use essential oils. All the while growing and feeding my precious cancer.”

Pretorius signed off with an important message to women everywhere. “Check your boobs. Know your body,” she wrote. “Cancer happens. To anyone.”

The mom of Amelia, 8, and Nina, 6, opened up about her diagnosis to Australian website Honey Nine. “I’m one of those people who always thinks everything will be fine,” she said. ”Even waiting for the biopsy results I kept telling myself, ‘I’m sure they’re going to say it was a false alarm.’ So when they said, ‘It’s cancer,’ I was shocked, I was horrified.”

Pretorius began chemotherapy treatments in July and is cautiously optimistic. “You realize life happens, and you’ve got to work with the direction it’s sending you in and adjust,” she told the news outlet. “We all chant these mantras, that whatever life throws at you, you’ve got to make the most of it. But it has taught me that you have to still live. You have to still have joy.”

Follow her journey on Instagram.

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