Rachael Joiner

I was introduced to The Living Centre when I did one of their “Days of Indulgence”. This was prior to my chemo commencing.

I remember checking out the wig library, just in case I needed it. But then going back to The Living Centre when I was bald was really hard. I mean, to go from having thick, beautiful curly hair to none was so humiliating!

But I received such gentle and respectful support from everyone there in choosing my first wig, which I called the “Russian Spy”. It was a stylish black bob, and became my favourite and most comfortable wig.

The Living Centre supported me emotionally by connecting me to other women, especially women of my own age who were in the same situation. They also offered me counselling and meditation, as well has explaining to me the potential impact that the treatment may have.

There were other women who had already started their treatment and they could prepare me for what I was in for. It was this that provided me with the first feeling of calmness since my diagnosis.

My family, friends and partner have been brilliant throughout all of this, but the fact is you feel isolated. The people I met at The Living Centre gave me a different kind of sanctuary where I knew they completely understood what I was feeling.

As a young woman with breast cancer, I could talk with other young women who also had breast cancer. We found relief in sharing with each other, and I found myself being pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. A lot of women haven’t had kids so fertility is a massive issue. The treatment is very hard for us, so it’s good to have other women to talk to and not feel so isolated and alone.

Also the nurses at The Living Centre were there 24/7 to answer any weird or wonderful questions that I may have had. Your world really does turn upside down and those that are there with you really are a part of that journey, so it’s a test of character strength and loyalty. I’m still in the process of recovery.

Think Pink Foundation