You and I are both members of the club no woman wants to join, the unfortunate one in eight club…
I too have been diagnosed with breast cancer, a type linked to the BRAC gene mutation – the gene made famous by Angelina Jolie. It was in August 2006 when I was just 29 years old, so I know exactly what you’re currently going through.
While I didn’t have the many millions of engaged social media followers that you do to share my diagnosis with, I know how difficult it is to go public. I remember making the heart-wrenching phone call to my mum, who was back in my native England, while I was a half way across the globe living in my new home, Melbourne.
I am so pleased to hear you have such a supportive group of family and friends, because those are the people that are going to get you through this. With my family being a world away, I was lucky enough to have the steadfast support of my husband and a close circle of friends.
One of the best pieces of advice I received was to find someone who’s gone through something similar. They’re the ones you can go to when most in need, to laugh at cancer’s expense – you can only laugh or cry – and to talk frankly in the moment, without fear of judgement.
I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many women who’ve gone through cancer because of my affiliation to patient group Pink Hope, a group dedicated to supporting and educating women about breast and ovarian cancer.