October, 2017 – holidaying on Hamilton Island, where rain almost every day was the biggest worry we had.
2018, and October has a whole new meaning to us … (you may or may not be aware) it marks 12months since my Breast Cancer diagnosis, and coincidently October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.
So….it only seems fitting that it is time to raise awareness and some dough for those organisations that provided a listening ear, calm voice, help and guidance throughout my surgery, treatment and now into post diagnosis life. Its time to play with your boobs, know your risk and empty your pockets!
There are 3 things I am asking you to do:
1. Regularly check your boobs, get to know them!
The first day of the month is an easy reminder for consistency…. Any changes, trust your gut and make your GP listen! Whilst I had no issues with my GP, I have come across so many people that have been dismissed, only to be diagnosed later. Guys, go for your life – cop a feel and don’t let your beloved wife/girlfriend ignore their own health.
2. Know your risk!
Know your family history... Speak to your family, ask questions and dig for info. I discovered I am also a BRCA1 carrier, - the Angelina Jolie gene however this was not known within the family even though my paternal grandmother and aunty had previously been diagnosed.
3. The other incentive!
Most of you are probably aware my partner in crime is looking slightly homeless and in dire need of a haircut. It looks like the only way this is going to happen – sooner rather than later, is to ‘pay’ for it for him.
I know many of you would be as happy as me to see those (disgustingly) luscious locks gone, so clear the moths out of your wallets, dig deep and please donate. We are not asking for much, anything will help be able to give back and show appreciation to those organisations that work so tirelessly everyday to which no value can be placed. Between you and I, we'll just tell Troy the money raised is for the haircut, and then divert it to charity while he’s on his way to the hairdresser :)
(note: imagine if he had more hair than me, yes I should have lost my hair during chemotherapy however thanks to a wonderful invention called the Paxman Cold Cap I was able to keep most of my hair)
Monies raised will be split between 2 charities - details below. Please note there are many other organisations and not forgetting the amazing team within the Oncology Ward @ Manning Base who I would love to spread this to however am realistic in not wanting to ask too much - it is not a cheap world we live in! So this is the starting point and I hope to find new ways to support these groups in future. Every $ counts!
Pink Hope - Pink Hope is an Australian non-profit organisation founded by Krystal Barter for educating and preventing about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
* An amazing charity raising awareness for those not only with a diagnosis but those with a genetic risk and moving to preventative action.
McGrath Foundation - The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity in Australia, which raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia and increase breast health awareness.
* Whilst it is a very well known charity .The calming voice of a Breast Care Nurse cannot be underestimated- something that cannot be explained.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer before the age of 85 [ and clearly age is not a barrier]. This year in Australia it is estimated 144 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Be vigilant, Know your body. Check for lumps, make note of any changes in nipples, any dimples, discharge or discolouration in your breasts. And lastly do not ignore pain - this is what led to my discovery.
Please also remember that in most cases, changes to the breast aren't symptoms of Breast Cancer, but if you do notice changes - see your doctor!
Thankyou in advance, and a huge thankyou to those who have already been by our side, respected our privacy and proved how beautiful people can be over the past 12 months.
PS - there will be no ‘event’ for the hair sacrifice, but there is a guarantee (& photo proof within the fortnight) it will be done, even if I have to do it myself in his sleep :)
Apologies if this is disappointing (maybe you can personally chauffer Troy to the hairdresser) however please understand this was difficult to put out there as is but if it gets the word out, saves a life or perhaps helps someone else's 'journey' it will be worth it.
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