Content warning. This site contains real stories of those impacted by brain cancer.
Skip to content
Dianne similing and partner at their baking shop

Diane Dunn, 54

My business, and future plans for it evaporated – along with my health.”

Before the diagnosis

In late 2016 I was running a wholesale bakery. I would bake on Mondays and Tuesdays (by myself), deliver to cafes in the Geelong area on Wednesdays, and on Thursdays and Fridays I’d prepare and bake to open to the locals on Saturdays – selling bread and pastries.

Diane’s symptoms

Life was extremely busy and physically demanding. In hindsight, the only inkling I had that something might be wrong was a trembling left arm when trying to remove heavy baking trays from my ovens. I thought nothing of it. I was a physically fit, 50-something woman who took great care of her health. I never smoked or drank, and was vegetarian for decades – way ahead of my time!

The diagnosis

November the 9th was a Monday evening. After an exhausting day in the bakery I fell into bed. I awoke at 3am having a seizure, was in ED by 5am and a lesion in my brain was detected by light of day. Within hours I was connected to a brain surgeon in Melbourne via telephone, who made arrangements for me to see her. Within two weeks I had had surgery.

The aftermath

I live with it every day. It affects everything I do. My job had required physical and mental agility, not to mention huge financial and emotional investment from myself and indeed my close family. My business and future plans for the bakery evaporated, along with my health. When I’m planting my garden I think, “Will I live to see my garden grow?”.

When I saw the statistics around brain cancer, all I could say was, “What do you mean? How can this be true?”. I was, and still am blindsided, by the unexpected change to my life and my expectations of the future. I am passionate about bringing about a change in the survival rates for brain cancer. If that means losing some privacy it is a small price to pay.

Diane Dunn has generously donated her diagnosis story.