A helping hand is in the bag | PERSONAL STORY

There is a huge sense of satisfaction and fulfilment when you can give back after going through breast cancer. Though none of us knows what the future holds, it is just so important to keep looking ahead, and helping others is one way to do that.

My breast cancer was low-grade and luckily had not advanced to my lymph nodes. My treatment was hasty and following my second surgery, a bilateral  mastectomy, it seemed like it all went by in a flash.

While in recovery, I carried around with me my two remaining drain bags – they were my constant companions for two weeks following my surgery. What a relief it was to have them finally removed.

In those several weeks at home adjusting to my new life, the numbness and scars were relatively easy to get used to, but the loss of pectoral function and the weird sensation from the new reconstruction certainly took some adjustment.

I busied myself getting back to work as soon as possible, but wanted to do something further to assist other mastectomy patients and help in those early days of recovery.

I took great pleasure in hand-making hessian bags with candy pink lining and matching pink handles, ideal for disguising drain bags, and easy to carry with wide, soft handles.

The pleasure I received in delivering those handmade drain bags to the breast ward of the hospital was immeasurable.

This year, one year on, I have had the pleasure of being the local ambassador for a fun run in our small country town of Hamilton. I was ready to share my story and encourage others to stay vigilant and ‘Just get checked’!

Jill, VIC



Issue 81
Summer 2017