YOU ARE NOT ALONE. PLEASE REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT.
Breast Cancer Network Australia
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is Australia’s leading breast cancer consumer organisation. BCNA have worked tirelessly to ensure that all Australians who are affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support. Founded by Lyn Swinburne whose vision was for no one to feel alone through their experience of breast cancer. The organisations’ role is to advocate for, connect, support, and inform those affected by breast cancer and works with the broader network to influence and create a stronger healthcare system.
BCNA were an incredible source of information during my treatment and continue to support my journey. I’m very proud to say that my book No Full Stops is also part of the BNCA library of personal stories.
Please help BCNA continue to provide free information and support to Australians affected by breast Cancer:
Can Assist – Cancer Assistance Network
Can Assist is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of where they live in NSW, have equitable access to cancer treatment and care. By providing financial assistance, practical support and raising awareness of the inequities, their volunteer network ensures that country people are given the same opportunities and treatment choices as those who live in city centres.
Can Assist Southern Highlands Branch covered some of my medication costs during my treatment, providing some much needed financial relief. They are a wonderful grassroots organisation supporting patients in rural areas:
PAWS Pet Therapy dogs and handlers
A not-for-profit charitable organisation established to bring the love of dogs to people in need. Each week PAWS volunteers generously give up their time to spread the magic of pet-assisted therapy to people in a range of settings including schools, specialised medical settings and aged care. Without the generous financial support of individuals and organisations PAWS could not operate. They were instrumental in keeping me calm and distracted at each of my chemotherapy treatments and were a highlight of those difficult days.
For all those animal lovers out there who know how much these beautiful animals can support up even the most difficult of days, please consider supporting this amazing organisation and their selfless volunteers so that other patients and families can benefit:
Look Good Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to improving the quality of life and self-esteem of people undergoing cancer treatment. The program offers complimentary group and virtual sessions that teach beauty techniques to help people with cancer to face their diagnosis with greater confidence.
I attended the workshop shortly after starting my chemotherapy. It provided a chance to be part of a safe environment to try out options for headgear, learn new makeup techniques and share a few tears but lots of laughter too, amongst the most inspiring and resilient cancer patients, supports and the volunteers that made this day possible:
YWCA Encore – breast cancer exercise program
YWCA Australia’s free Encore breast cancer exercise and information program supports women who have experienced breast cancer to restore mobility, flexibility and confidence. Encore can help you strengthen and tone your arms, shoulders and chest, regain mobility, and improve your general fitness. Based around land and pool exercises and information sessions, Encore is safe, fun and therapeutic. The Encore program also focuses on mental health and wellbeing with a focus on body image, self-esteem and reducing stress and tension.
I attended the program shortly after radiation to regain my upper mobility and improve my general fitness level. A chance to meet other women who had similar experiences and provide a safe and compassionate space to freely and safely express our experiences, fears and any lingering concerns:
Black Dog Institute: 1800 737 732
A global leader in mental health research and the only Medical Research Institute (MRI) In Australia to Investigate mental health across the lifespan. Their aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone. Areas of strength include suicide prevention, digital mental health, workplace mental health, new treatments, and prevention in young people.
Carers Australia: 1800 422 737
The national peak body representing Australia’s unpaid carers advocating on their behalf to influence policies and services at a national level.
Endometriosis Australia: 1800 835 932
A charitable organisation dedicated to increasing recognition of endometriosis, provide endometriosis education programs and help fund endometriosis research.
Cancer Council Australia
Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity, and the only Australian charity working across every aspect of every cancer, from research to prevention and support. Their vision is for a cancer-free future, and every day across the country the federation is working towards that, helping to reduce the physical, emotional and financial burden of cancer on the lives of all Australians. Cancer Council formed as a federal body to promote cancer control at a national level with a Cancer Council in each state and territory that undertakes most of the organisation’s research, patient support and education programs.
Through the Cancer Council NSW, I was able to access practical information, support and financial assistance during my treatment . Please consider a donation to their organisation:
The McGrath Foundation
The McGrath Foundation raise money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses who provide invaluable support and care to women and men experiencing breast cancer. From diagnosis and throughout treatment, McGrath Breast Care Nurses are available to help individuals and their families for free and with no referral.
Therese was my Breast Care Nurse and she provided invaluable support and information during my treatment. Please click here for further information on how you can get involved or support this vital resource:
The Otis Foundation
The Otis Foundation is a charity dedicated to providing a national network of retreat accommodation properties at no cost to anyone who has faced the challenges of breast cancer. An opportunity to reduce the psychological impacts of breast cancer on everyone by having a breakaway with loved ones to relax, reconnect and create special memories together.
For our family, it was a chance to get away, relax in between treatments, regroup, laugh and enjoy living in the moment:
Quest for Life Foundation
Quest for Life Foundation provides educational self-help programs and community-based workshops that encourage, educate and empower people to improve their resilience and peace of mind during times of illness, depression, grief and trauma. Quest encompasses a holistic approach to physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Their highly trained health professionals and facilitators offer training in resilience and healing principles in rural, regional and metropolitan areas throughout Australia.
I attended a residential retreat at Quest for Life Foundation in 2017 and it opened my eyes to the mind-body connection and that I had the power to access my own healing. An invaluable service to be accessed in the aftermath of life-changing events to find meaning, healing and purpose. It had a profound impact on my own healing journey and I was so fortunate that the services are available in the beautiful Southern Highlands:
I am forever grateful for all the love and support that I was given by
my family and friends old and new, along the way.
My heartfelt thanks also go to the medical team of doctors, nurses, volunteers and people behind the scenes who helped me have this
second chance at life.
I know how invaluable this support is first-hand and to ensure its continued availability to those that might be undertaking treatment,
I will be donating 10% of profits from book sales across these amazing organisations in Australia that provide research and support services.
Much love, health and happiness to you all x
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