I am sure most of you know I was diagnosed myself 18 months ago at the ripe old age of 37yrs (to say it was a shock is an understatement).
Getting diagnosed with the Big C hits you like a friggen steam train. You don’t see it coming and it takes the air from the lungs (or in my case my legs out from underneath me as I collapsed on the lounge floor). But what I’ve learnt through this entire pretty hideous cancer journey is that at the end of the day you want to be treated like anyone else who may be currently sick; whether they’ve got a runny nose or a broken leg.
I say this because when I was diagnosed (and admittedly I was little more public than most) I noticed that people who would usually come up to me, say hi and shoot the breeze all of a sudden put their head down or avoided eye contact. It was if nobody wanted me there. I was a daily reminder that anyone can get cancer and nobody wanted that. But when you’re the person who’s been diagnosed and people around you all of a sudden stop communicating it makes a shit situation that much shittier.
What advice would you give to others
People forget, being diagnosed with the Big C doesn’t mean you’re going to die and those who have been diagnosed definitely don’t need to be treated like someone who is terminal. Loads of us get Cancer and loads of us get to carry on and live awesome long lives. But please don’t be scared to ask us how life is without a nipple or what it’s like waiting for your yearly check-up with an oncologist who I’m confident has some form of Aspergers (bedside manner is seriously lacking). By normalising the entire situation makes the whole shitty situation that much less scary.
We’re scared enough when diagnosed we need those around us to not act it..
Checked your breasts lately?
Touch both breasts. You’re feeling for any lumps or thickening of the tissue, even up into the armpits.
Look in front of a mirror. Can you see any physical changes to the breast shape, skin or nipples?
Check any breast changes with your doctor. Even if you’ve had a mammogram recently.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is different for every one. Each person has their own feelings, emotions and needs when going through this journey. One thing that most people do is to reach out for support from family, friends and even strangers they know who have also been down the same path, just some one that can listen .
Miss Lolo herself would love to be able to help every person and over the past year and a half she has tried, but in all honesty caring for a partner, family member or friend with breast cancer can be hard and emotionally draining. Talking to someone who is trained to understand and support through these situations can help hugely.
If you need help there are some amazing support groups out there.
Remember, this is something you don't need to go through alone. There is always some one there to guide you through this process.