The last 12 months have been a “trainwreck” of a year for PR maven Roxy Jacenko.
“You’ve got to do it with a smile on your face. I had to,” she told Kyle and Jackie O on radio on Tuesday morning.
Jacenko underwent a partial removal, six weeks of radiation and will have to take Tamoxifen, a cancer blocker tablet for next 10 years. The drug, Jacenko says, has given her hot sweats and threatens to push her into early menopause.
Still, with a husband returning from prison, and a relatively clean bill of health, things were finally looking up from Jacenko.
Then she found another lump.
“The latest lump was found by ultrasound. You’ve got to remember it was just by chance I found the lump the first time that was cancerous, I was rigorously removing my spray tan preparing my skin for another spray tan. This time I wouldn’t have even noticed it,” she said.
“It was just in the section near the bone in the middle, I just didn’t feel it but an ultra sound picked it up.”
Luckily, the lump was found to be not cancerous. Still, it compelled the busy entrepreneur to be more vigilant going forward.
“That’s the biggest message here – if you don’t make time for yourself then it can all end tomorrow. And you would think when you’ve had cancer you’d bother to check,” she said.
Listen: Mia Freedman talks to Roxy Jacenko. Post continues after audio.
“I left it a bit longer than I should have, I won’t be doing that again.”
Jacenko’s husband accompanied her to her biopsy, and has pledged to be by his wife’s side for every future appointment.
“Whilst it’s strange as he wont let me go to an appointment solo and nags me to death (pardon the pun) about taking the cancer blocker, tamoxifen its nice to have someone who has your back, life is better than ever and busier than ever, I wouldn’t change a thing – I am the luckiest girl in the world!” she told Mamamia.
“The message is be vigilant and don’t be lazy. I’m a classic example – at 36 I never thought I would get cancer. It was in my family and I still didn’t bother to get checked,” she said.
As well as raising awareness, Jacenko is also committed to raising funds for breast cancer research and sufferers.
She was announced an ambassador for international hair brand Toni & Guy last week ahead of their pink day on October 24th where all Toni & Guy salons will be offering complementary blow dries or dry styling techniques in return for a $30 donation.
Throughout October, clients can also make an extra donation of $2 (or more!) when they visit the salon with proceeds going directly to the National Breast Cancer Association and Look Good Feel Better.
Enjo Australia, for which Jacenko is also an ambassador, will also be donating $5 from every sale of their limited edition pink floor cleaner to the McGrath Foundation this month.
Excited to announce that @enjo_australia have released a limited edition pink edition of their iconic floorcleaner with proceeds going towards the @mcgrathfoundation. Breast cancer awareness is something close to my heart having experienced it at 36 so I hope you will consider supporting this fantastic cause. All @enjo_australia products are completely chemical free and the unique fibre technology means that you only need to add water x
Jacenko also told Kyle and Jackie O she would be dying her hair pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I am colouring my hair on Monday 23rd Oct at TONI&GUY in Paddington and will keep it for that week,” she told Mamamia.
“Additionally, I will be hosting a high tea at Westfield Parramatta on Oct 27th of which proceeds will be going to Love Your Sister.”
Jacenko told Mamamia that her full payment from 60 Minutes, Woman’s Day and a portion from her Melbourne in Conversation seminar earlier this year were donated to various breast, ovarian and rare cancer charities.
“Without these organisations receiving our support we wouldn’t be working toward a cure and care that we are so lucky to have here in Australia,” she said.