In February 2008, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, two days after her 50th birthday. I can’t describe to you what it feels like seeing the person you love the most unwell, but all I knew was her strength and positivity would get her through.
My mum has always been the matriarch of the family, being a single mother raising three children and working a full-time job wasn’t easy and she gave us the most incredible childhood, we never missed out on anything. She has always shown strength and positivity even through the hardest of times and I want to share her story with you.
“I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and was diagnosed with Grade 3, Stage 1 breast cancer. I had six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation therapy. I work as a Teacher Aide so following my diagnosis I took the rest of the year off. Not used to being idle, having raised three children on my own, I borrowed some money to do some renovations on the house including the bathroom which did not include a bathtub, I thought a long soak in the tub was a necessity.
I was very lucky to have the physical and emotional support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse who attended my first and subsequent meetings with the surgeon. I decided that I did not want to burden my family with the details of my treatment and having a McGrath Breast Care Nurse with me made the process easier. She was able to clarify procedures and I just felt more comfortable having her at my side.
I loved wearing hats and bright scarves and when I was feeling the effects of chemo one day, one of the workers was surprised to learn that I had cancer because he thought I was just flamboyant (his words). When my eldest son found out that I would lose my hair he shaved his head as well and said, “You know how you always say I have a lovely round head; wouldn’t it be great if I took after you!”
I’ve always taught my kids to look on the bright side of life. In fact, while returning home after finding out my diagnosis, ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ was playing on the radio. It made me smile and somehow I just knew everything would be okay.”
Nine years on since her initial diagnosis, my mum is disease free and living life to the fullest. She is the real Wonder Woman!
Looking back, our family were so lucky to have the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse. They help families by providing invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
The McGrath Foundation currently has 117 Breast Care Nurses working in metro, regional and rural communities right across the country, with this support provided free of charge.
Inspired by their work and dedication, BP, throughout July, will be honouring the work of McGrath Breast Care Nurses and sharing their stories to help raise awareness and drive donations to this wonderful Foundation. The campaign will celebrate the work of the nurses and their impact on the lives of their patients, while also highlighting the thousands of families that still need help.
With a goal to help the McGrath Foundation place McGrath Breast Care Nurses where people need them, BP is donating a portion of all fuel sales during the first week of July (6-12 July) and for the remainder of the month, BP is giving customers the chance to donate in-store or online.
My mum’s McGrath Breast Care Nurse was a huge support that helped her through the treatments, and everyone battling breast cancer should have the same support.
Please show your support and drive on into your local BP fuel station to help the McGrath Foundation. Read more about it here: – http://www.bp.com/en_au/australia/promotions/bp-mcgrath-partnership.html