Head down to Stanley Street Plaza during the week where a moving ‘Survivor Gallery’ will be installed on the walls, featuring the personal stories of breast cancer survivors.
These raw accounts are poignant, courageous and utterly inspiring. Here, Gay shares her story…
After losing both my sisters to cancer I had decided that I wasn’t going to get cancer. That all changed in 2005 with my first breast cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with an invasive lobular cancer of the right breast. I really thought it was never going to happen to me, so I was stunned.
During treatment, I was in a hurry to put it all behind me. I also started to really think about how short life is, so I retired at the end of 2005 and set about recovering. My first check-up said I was clear but my second check-up brought a diagnosis of invasive ductal cancer – a different breast cancer and in the other breast. I couldn’t believe my luck! During my next round of treatment I felt lousy but I was confident I would have a positive outcome and I did. During this time I was very grateful for the support of my friend Tricia, who came with me to all my medical appointments, brought me coffee when I was in chemotherapy, and cooked me healthy meals despite the fact that I couldn’t taste anything.
My life now is different but the same. I am once again healthy and active and I attribute much of that to joining Dragons Abreast. Dragon boating has given me the chance to do things that I never dreamt I would, or could do. I feel lucky to be a breast cancer survivor. I am keen to just get on with living. Like most other people I used to often put things off until later – now I just get on and do things because I know I’m lucky that I can.
My Breast Cancer Network Australia Experience
My first introduction to Breast Cancer Network Australia was the My Journey Kit. It’s an information resource that educates you about what you need to know, what you need to ask, and what is possible. Breast Cancer Network Australia also plays a really important role getting vital breast cancer drugs on the PBS. I really value the ongoing information that I get from Breast Cancer Network Australia, such as treatment innovations and also the stories of other survivors that the organisation shares.