“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.” 

Pema Chodron

It is now three years since the beginning of my breast cancer journey, and I am more than happy to be here celebrating this.  I have just had my surgery check up and am continuing the necessary monitoring with all my health professionals. 

Looking back at my journal from the time, 6 weeks post-surgery and I am back at work – both at my private and organisational role.  Chemotherapy began late September and I managed to work around this.  Monday and Tuesday at the organisation, chemo on Wednesday and pacing myself with private clients over Thursday and Friday. 

At this time, my hair had fallen out – so an open discussion was held with all clients, those that I had seen previously and any prospectives as I didn’t want to scare them or trigger past wounds.  I believed that it was essential that the client’s choice included this information.

Looking back in the journal, I also noted that I held morning teas for two organisations.  My usual workplace who was aware of my surgery and treatment, and another workplace where I had weekly onsite sessions prior to COVID19.  For this male dominated workplace, I arranged 3 morning teas for their workgroups and included a pink iced sweet and laminated information regarding breast cancer.

Smoko provided by Sue for Breast Cancer Awareness Month which runs for the whole of October.  The aim of this month is to increase attention and support for the awareness of early detection and treatment of breast cancer.  The numbers are startling – in Australia they estimate 19,998 women and 170 men to be diagnosed this year!  To put it in perspective 1:7 women before the age of 85 is diagnosed with breast cancer and men’s breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer diagnoses.

The reason that Sue has provided the smoko is to remind that you blokes are in the perfect position to influence and inform the special women in your lives; wives, partners, sisters, mothers and friends and to ensure that if any symptoms are noted that they take the appropriate action to see their Health Professional and take the necessary tests.

Hoping to catch up with you all when COVID 19 restrictions are lifted – enjoy the smoko.

I also outed myself publicly on Facebook on the last day of October, not as a way of having people feel sorry for me, but for educational purposes.  If I can assist one person in not having the same degree of breast cancer (or cancer in general) – I feel my job is done.  Early detection is key.

Hoping your health is well also.