Cancer patient’s transformation into bodybuilder
18 MONTHS ago, Kaity Jade was staring death in the face.
At just 26 years old, the young woman from Portland in NSW said she felt a little tired before being diagnosed with the worst news possible.
"I had glandular fever, but the doctor said I was in the recovery stage of the illness," Kaity, who is now 28, told news.com.au.
"I had an unusual raised gland that had never come up. So the doctor asked for me to have scans done as they thought it might've been an infection.
"During the scan, they noticed a lump on the left hand side of my stomach which they thought might've been cysts on my ovaries.
"They asked to do more scans on my stomach and chest, where they found four tumours. Sure enough it was cancer."
Kaity said from the time of her biopsy and PET scan a few weeks later, the cancer had spread at a rapid pace and she was booked in for an aggressive treatment for chemotherapy.
"It went from a stage 2 to a stage 4 in a fortnight," she said.
"I had no pain. By stage 4 I had pressure on my stomach when I ate something, so I would lie down to eat.
"Only being 27 at the time, I didn't have any children, so my fertility was a big thing. So before chemo, I had some eggs frozen on the Monday in case it wiped my fertility. On the Wednesday my PICC Line was put in and the Chemo started on the Thursday."
Kaity said the pain of her chemotherapy can only be described as having bruised bones. Having lost 40kg before chemotherapy, she said she had no ability to do any form of exercise during her treatment.
Having done five weeks of treatment in Bathurst, she was transferred to Queensland so her family could take care of her for the final few months of chemotherapy.
At the end of her treatment, which left her feeling "unresponsive, blank, weak and bruised", Kaity was given the all-clear. But instead of happiness, she went into deep depression.
"I felt like I had no purpose in life," she explained. "I was still weak and recovering. I couldn't work, and I was trying to find a way to bounce back. I'd been so strong emotionally during chemo, the emotions caught up with me."
After six months, Kaity wanted to focus on a goal she'd had even before being diagnosed - to do bodybuilding competitions.
"Getting on that stage was my initial goal," she explained. I kept that in mind and stayed focused.
"I started by walking up and down stairs.
"Sometimes I would just go to the gym just to get in that routine of going and being around people.
"Now, I work out five times a week training weights, and five times training cardio. It's about changing bad habits into good ones."
Since starting her transformation, Kaity has dropped 28kg in 16 months.
She now competes in global body sculpting competitions, recently taking home the title in this year's transformation title for the World Fitness and Fashion competition in Sydney.
On August 24, she will head to Las Vegas where she hopes to win again.
"I have a specific diet that I follow," she explained. "My day is chicken, steak, eggs, bananas, strawberries, green vegetables, nuts and white potato.
"And there are no cheat days this close to competition."