Kiwi mum's courage: 'My boobs are ticking timebombs'

Asia's Tech News Daily

Kiwi mum's courage: 'My boobs are ticking timebombs'

Kiwi mum's courage: 'My boobs are ticking timebombs'

“My boobs could kill me.”

That’s the first thing Samantha Littlefield thinks as she looks down at her breasts – and very soon, the 30-year-old plans to say goodbye to the “ticking timebombs” forever.

“It’s a strange feeling,” says the Auckland woman, who only found out she carries the BRCA2 gene mutation – which gives her an 80 per cent chance of developing cancer – in March, and gave birth to her son Isaac 10 weeks ago.

“These things that make me feel like a woman, that breastfed my baby, they could ultimately kill me. So yeah, they have to go!”

Samantha and her brother Jason discovered they inherited the gene mutation after their mother Gillian’s second battle with breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes we
all have, producing tumour-suppressant proteins. However, the mutation means damaged genes aren’t repaired and it can lead to cancer.

Kiwi mum's courage: 'My boobs are ticking timebombs'

Samantha with her son Isaac. Photo / Sammy Leigh Photography.

Samantha remembers her mum’s first breast cancer diagnosis in 2004, when she was only 13.

“It was so difficult on the whole family,” she recalls. “My dad had to work a lot of overtime to support us and Mum was going through hell with her treatments. I was doing a lot to help look after Jason, who was just 6. I had to grow up pretty quickly.”

In May 2019, the family celebrated Gillian being cancer-free for 14 years, but last year, the cancer returned, with a new tumour found in her other breast. As part of her treatment, Gillian, 55, was referred to genetic testing, which revealed she had the BRCA2 mutation, and it was recommended Samantha and Jason get checked too.

“It was a 50:50 chance we had it, so of course we really wanted to be tested,” Samantha tells Woman’s Day. “Waiting for the test results was so stressful. I’m a planner, so I just like to have a plan in place, regardless of a positive or negative result.”

Being 17 weeks pregnant with Isaac, it was an anxious time – and when the test came back positive, pragmatism took over.

“We had just found out we were pregnant, so we thought we’d have our first baby and buy a house, then grow our family,” she says. “But the positive result has meant we’ll be having our kids earlier because in the next four years, I need to have the surgery.

Kiwi mum's courage: 'My boobs are ticking timebombs'

Samantha doesn't want to go through the hell her mum was put through. Photo / Sammy Leigh Photography

“Having the test was actually positive – it pushed us to make those decisions. My clock is literally ticking now. We have to get this done!”

Samantha says it was a simple decision to have a preventative double mastectomy as the risk of developing cancer goes up to around 80 per cent for carriers of the BRCA gene mutation, compared to an 8 per cent chance otherwise.

“The first time my mum had cancer, it had already spread – it was grade three. She had
a lumpectomy as well as chemotherapy and radiation, plus five years of hormone therapy. She was so sick, she couldn’t get out of her recliner chair for months. She also got
an infection from the radiation that almost killed her.

“I don’t want to go through that, but I also don’t want my kids to go through any of that.

“It had a huge impact on our family and I’m determined it’s not going to happen again.”

Surprisingly, Samantha is looking on the bright side of losing both breasts.

“I’m planning on having three kids, so after breastfeeding all of them, I’ll probably need something done anyway!” she laughs. “I like having humour – that’s how I deal with it and try to have a positive outlook.”

That doesn’t mean she’s not nervous about what she’ll have to go through, but Samantha is adamant that this is the right decision for her and her whānau, adding she’ll do what it takes to deal with everything that comes her way.

“For me, knowledge is power. I will never have to tell my kids I have breast cancer and it’s spread. It’s about taking the power back and knowing that cancer won’t have any hold over me. By making this decision, I’m saying, ‘Screw cancer!’ and that feels fabulous.”

Join the pink movement

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are loads of different ways to get involved. Grab a bucket and get dressed in pink to join thousands of volunteers collecting for the Pink Ribbon Street Appeal on October 29 and 30. Have your workplace go “Pink For A Day” to start conversations about breast health and wellbeing. And look out for Pink Products where a portion of sales go towards the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s life-saving work. Visit for more info.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Small-ship cruising makes an unforgettable New Zealand holiday

New Zealand has a lot to offer small-ship cruisers and a surprising number of vessels to be of service, writes Ewan McDonald. Some estimate 15,000km, others think 18,000km. Truth is, ... Read more »

Mobility scooter riders take to the streets of Havelock North

Mobility scooter riders take to the streets of Havelock North as part of a training session. Video / Hastings District Council Read more »

The Country - Carbon edition

Today on The Country, Jamie Mackay spoke to Fish and Game NZ chair Ray Grubb about the unseen costs of carbon farming, after New Zealand carbon prices hit a record ... Read more »

Auckland Airport meth bust: Identities of alleged organised criminal group revealed

Most identities can be revealed of a group of baggage handlers at Auckland Airport and associates who deny smuggling more than 250 kilograms of methamphetamine into New Zealand. Name suppression ... Read more »

National leader Chris Luxon and Simon Bridges to make first appearance together since leadership contest

New National Party leader Chris Luxon and Simon Bridges will have their first appearance together since the leadership change, and Luxon is expected to announce Bridges’ new portfolios. The two ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Two new cases in Lakes, one in BOP, library and bar among new locations of interest

Covid in Bay of Plenty• Rotorua bakery opts out of enforcing vaccine passes• Five confirmed Covid cases at Te Akau ki Pāpāmoa School• Destiny Church pastor to fight Covid-19 public ... Read more »

Converge en Wolfe: Intense, gothische treurmars

Deel 1, dat maakt benieuwd naar wat er nog meer komt.Mar Blood Moon I, Een samenwerking van metalcoreband Converge met gothic-koningin Chelsea Wolfe, is zo goed dat het me eigenlijk ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: 172 cases as country moves into traffic light system

There are 172 new Covid community cases today as the nation prepares to move into the traffic light system. Eighty-six people are in hospital and nine are in intensive care. ... Read more »

Wai-o-Turi marae gets grant for Parara-ki-te-uru research

A South Taranaki marae has been awarded a grant to fund research into the history of its area. Wai-o-Turi marae will get $7,875 to help explore the history of Parara-ki-te-uru, ... Read more »

Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival with Sir Dave Dobbyn on in January

Good news: The iconic Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival will go ahead on January 15, 2022. Kylie Watkins, one of the organising committee from the Fun Fest Charitable Trust, ... Read more »

Plans for borders at the Bay of Islands canned, Tai Tokerau Border Control and police measures revealed

Bay of Islands holidaymakers can enjoy the Northland gem this summer after planned border control measures were scrapped. Instead, Tai Tokerau Border Control and Northland police look set to join ... Read more »

From meth to chef

How a Hawke’s Bay man beat his meth addiction and is on the path to becoming a chef. Video Warren Buckland. Read more »

Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Plans for borders at the Bay of Islands canned, Tai Tokerau Border Control and police measures revealed

Bay of Islands holidaymakers can enjoy the Northland gem this summer after planned border control measures were scrapped. Instead, Tai Tokerau Border Control and Northland police look set to join ... Read more »

Christchurch mother of 11-month-old baby who chewed meth bag sentenced to intensive supervision

The mother of a baby who chewed on a bag of methamphetamine and who ended up distressed and barely sleeping or eating has today been sentenced to supervision. And she ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Bar, library among new locations of interest

Latest case numbers for the region will be released after 1pm with several new locations of interest announced for the region this morning. They include the Tauranga Library, a bar, ... Read more »

Unwind in Franz Josef in New Zealand's best travel deals

RAINFOREST CALM & HELICOPTER THRILLS Unwind in the tranquillity of an alpine rainforest, with a two-night stay at Franz Josef’s Rainforest Retreat, then take an exhilarating 20-minute scenic helicopter flight ... Read more »

Worldwide health alert after cardiologist says he caught Covid variant during London conference trip

Worldwide health alert after cardiologist says he caught omicron Covid variant at UK conference – Shannon Fagan A London medical conference attended by hundreds of the UK’s leading cardiologists has ... Read more »

Students with special needs on waiting lists for in-demand school

Parents of special needs youngsters are having to go on a waiting list to access specialist education at Goldfields School, which is “bursting at the seams” and cannot take any ... Read more »

Back-to-back cattle sale format a success in Central Otago

Bidding and the weather were hot at a double-header cattle sale in Central Otago last week. The first sale was on Long Ridge, a 440ha farm about 5km east of ... Read more »

Busy first year for South Taranaki's rural general practice

This month South Taranaki’s Rural General Practice (the Practice) celebrates a full year of operation in Hāwera. Taranaki DHB chief operating officer Gillian Campbell says the Practice was implemented to ... Read more »

Horse racing: Ben Foote vying for Group 1 trifecta

Few people get the chance at a trifecta in a Group 1 race, but that is what Cambridge horseman Ben Foote is vying for in the Group 1 Captain Cook ... Read more »

Research reveals why Wellington experienced so much damage in the Kaikōura Earthquake

New research has shed light on why Wellington City experienced so much damage in the 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake. The quake was by no means the “big one” for Wellington with ... Read more »

TikTok dances and billionaires in space: Things we would rather leave in 2021

The pandemic, politics and pervasive anxiety over the climate. Did 2021 leave us any time to ponder anything else? As we limp our way into a new year, there are ... Read more »

Local Focus: East Coast teens scouted for Japan

Hicks Bay 16-year-old Liam Henderson has been offered a $400,000 rugby scholarship at Yamanashi Gakuin high school in Japan. His agent, Gisborne local Luke Bradley who lived in Japan for ... Read more »

Help to get Covid vaccination certificate

Since Friday, December 3, getting access to businesses, public facilities and services can require a Proof of Covid Double Vaccination Certificate. For many people, particularly the elderly, this has caused ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Today's cases, as country moves into traffic light system

With New Zealand just hours from entering the traffic light system, Kiwis are set to find out how many new Covid community cases there are – and where – and ... Read more »

Men face off with knives in incident south of Auckland: witness

Two men have faced off with knives in a small town south of Auckland before ending the dispute amicably and sitting down to eat baked goods, a witness says. A ... Read more »

Nelson man leaves $3.6m to St John and Rescue Helicopter Trust

A man who is remembered by those who knew him as being a people person with a kind heart has left a legacy that the region will benefit from for ... Read more »

Climbers rescue dog from Mexico's highest mountain Pico de Orizaba

How far would you go to save a stray puppy? On 22 November a team of mountaineers scaled the country’s highest mountain to rescue a stray dog which had been ... Read more »

Former All Blacks Dan Carter and Steve Devine recreate iconic Vortex Mega Howler advertisement

2021 has finally delivered the reboot the world needed. Dan Carter has recreated his iconic – and extremely cringe – 2003 Vortex Mega Howler advertisement with fellow former All Black ... Read more »

The days when produce was grown on Dunedin's doorstep

New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million but might not grow enough vegetables for its own population. The Otago Daily Times’ Bruce Munro looks back on a time ... Read more »

Four Hector's dolphins found dead on South Island beaches

The Department of Conservation is investigating the death of four Hector’s dolphins on South Island beaches. DoC aquatic director Elizabeth Heeg said it is too early to say what caused ... Read more »

Te Puke to become Christmas Town

As excitement builds towards the festive season, Te Puke is about to be transformed into Christmas Town. Developed as an alternative to the Seeka Christmas Float Parade, cancelled due to ... Read more »

Eltham Municipal Building sold to private developer for renovations

Eltham’s historic Municipal Building has been sold to a private developer who plans to earthquake strengthen and renovate the building. The new owner, experienced property developer Dean Martin, understands the ... Read more »

Dilworth School sex abuse investigation: Ross Douglas Browne, former vicar, sentenced

Former Dilworth chaplain Ross Douglas Browne – described by his victims as a monster disguised as a Santa Claus-like mentor – has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Wellington Airport listed as location of interest

Wellington Airport and the nearby Burger King have been added to the list of Covid-19 locations of interest. The airport has been listed four times – – Monday, November 22 ... Read more »

US police officer fired after fatal shooting of man using wheelchair

A US police officer has been fired after he was accused of shooting a shoplifting suspect in a wheelchair nine times, killing him, after the man brandished a knife, authorities ... Read more »

Horse racing: Racing fans facing double-jab ruling

Racing fans will need to be double vaccinated to attend the track from tomorrow but industry participants have been given six weeks leeway to reach the same level. With the ... Read more »

Ikea opening here: NZ debut at Kiwi Property Group site, Auckland's Sylvia Park

Swedish furniture and homeware giant Ikea is opening at Mt Wellington’s Sylvia Park. Two years after announcing it would open here, it has just announced an agreement to buy land ... Read more »

America's Cup: Former Team New Zealand coach Joey Allen believes Alinghi will be a strong challenger

Former Team New Zealand sailor and coach Joey Allen believes Alinghi could be a major force at the next America’s Cup. Alinghi, Team NZ’s old nemesis, will make a return ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic