My name is Bec and for 20 years I’ve been a registered nurse, and over those years I’ve witnessed so many people’s lives turned upside down by these words: ‘You have cancer.’
Somehow though, despite seeing this so often, I never expected it would happen to me. But in 2017, it did happen.
I had discovered a lump on my left breast, and after getting it checked out, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. To say it was awful, or shocking, doesn’t really capture it.
At the time my son, Justin, who is really sensitive and sweet, was studying Year 12 at the time. Naturally, he was stressed with his studies and I felt really guilty at the thought of upsetting him. But, I had to tell him.
That was a tough moment, but there have been many more since.
Like the time when I’d got through my first six months of chemotherapy and radiation, only to be told that my triple negative cancer didn’t have a targeted therapy and wasn’t widely researched.
Imagine being smashed for six months by chemo, only to be told there is no ongoing therapy? None! It was heartbreaking.
That’s when I turned to the Mater Chicks in Pink website. The Mater Chicks in Pink are amazing for so many reasons, and I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I got on their website and I saw there was research for my rare breast cancer type happening right here at Mater. It gave me so much confidence.
Mater Chicks in Pink are just incredible. They do so many little things that make such a difference when you and your family are just in a state of shock and heartbreak. Reading the stuff on the website helped me to choose to have bilateral mastectomies (the removal of both breasts). It was such a difficult decision, but I’m so glad I did it.
I knew the breast care nurses, from my job at Mater—but never like this.
Breast care nurses are your lifeline between you and the oncologist, and they are there for you throughout treatment both to translate what is happening to you, and also for your emotional support. They’re someone you can talk to about your fears about treatment and the future.
It’s why I’m thrilled to be part of RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run for another year to give back to these amazing nurses, and I’d love for you to take part with me.
For me, it’s about having a positive impact on the world... It’s a hugely self-satisfying and amazing thing people like you can do.
When register to join the RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run, you really become part of something amazing.