Pink Ribbon Day raises money for women’s cancers. Every year we raise money for the Cancer Council by selling pink cupcakes for the whole week. Pink Ribbon Day is really important to me as it was around this time in 2004 that I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40.
My mum passed away from breast cancer at the very young age of 39. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and everyone at some stage in their life knows someone who has been touched with this disease.
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women in Australia. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. Over 14,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Everyone’s journey through cancer is different. Everyone takes a slightly different path but a lot of the treatments are the same. Surgery followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and then medication. It is always really good to be able to talk to someone who understands what you have gone through as they have been there themselves
Doctors used to say that if you got to 5 years you were clear, but now that is extended to 10 years due to the number of people who develop secondary cancer within that time. Even then, once this diagnosis is yours, I feel you don’t ever lose the thought that it might return one day.
There are a lot of things that I would not have done in my life if I hadn’t had cancer. I probably would not of taken the chance to open my music school for one. I had never run my own business before. I would not have started to play bassoon. As a classical flautist this was a big change. I thought to myself, why not? Life is too short to wonder if you can. This year I took up cello and absolutely love it!! It’s never to late to learn something new!
I now find I am more true to my own values and live my life on my terms. If it’s important to me, I do it.This certainly changes your perspective on life. Each and every day is precious. You start to notice the important things around you. You spend more time with the people who are important to you. I find that I now gravitate towards people who think like me, my tribe, and I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason just takes a while to appear.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Ghandi
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