I consider myself to be a positive person, was no stranger to adversity and pretty in touch with the fact that “life is short” when diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 48. In the preceding two decades one of my younger sisters’ had died by suicide, my parents had both died in their 60’s within 2 years of each other and I had to terminate a much wanted, and what was to be my only, pregnancy, at 16 weeks, letting go of a long held dream of having children.
Already on a path of self discovery and well versed at seeking out support as I needed it I was overwhelmed by the love and resources available to me through Think Pink. Having endured the usual suspects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and lost all of my hair in the process, I attended one of the Day’s of Indulgence. What a gift it was to be pampered in that way at a time I was at my most vulnerable. Andrea and Ros were like rays of sunshine and introduced me to the wonderful sanctuary that is Think Pink’s Living Centre. Over the coming months and years as I continued to heal and recover, I became a regular attendee at the Mindfulness sessions offered by Cheryne Blom. There are not enough words to express how much I have learnt and continue to learn from Cheryne. Her generosity of spirit and the delightful analogies she uses to explain how our brains work and how to utilise all the wonderful resources we have within us inspire me and I often hear myself quoting her words of wisdom.
Earlier this year I booked into Think Pink’s Career Workshop and was introduced to Maike Schroeder. Maike was so generous with her time and expertise. She helped me drop “my story” around my work history, enabling me to view my resume through new eyes, seeing only my achievements and all the skills and experience I could offer a future employer. I am sure this made all the difference when I put myself forward for my first job since my diagnosis and even in the uncertain environment that COVID-19 has created, within months of our first meeting I had landed my dream job, one that met all of my criteria.
I’ve been blessed with amazing support from my loving husband, family and friends. Following treatment my husband and I relocated and now live by the sea. My hair has grown back and I feel more like me again…”same same, but different”. To quote J.R.R. Tolkien, I believe that “…all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” and I know how I want to spend mine….living deliberately with love and gratitude, being kind and compassionate to myself and others and doing as much of what brings me joy as I can.
To all the bright, warm, welcoming, wise, hardworking and committed people associated with Think Pink (often volunteering their precious, personal time) as well as the many courageous women I have met along the way who, like me, are navigating life after diagnosis, I say “Thank You”. It is very comforting and humbling to know that a place like Think Pink exists and I will be forever grateful for all that you offer me.