Imagine someone you love not celebrating Christmas because of breast cancer.
When 38-year-old Natalie discovered a lump in her breast, not only would she struggle with the debilitating emotional and physical trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis, but her husband of 10 years would leave her and their two young daughters to face the battle alone.
What would you do?
It had been two weeks since Natalie had consulted her GP about the suspicious lump. As time passed, her fears began to subside and she figured ‘no news was good news’. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Not long after, she received the devastating call. The next three long days were spent in the unknown, waiting for her appointment with the breast surgeon.
I had so many questions to ask but I knew the answers would frighten me. Will I survive?
When the appointment finally arrived, the news was not good. The very next day she was admitted to have her breast removed. Her only option. During this time, Natalie relied on her breast care nurse Barbara and Counsellor Shelley to get her through the most difficult periods of recovery. “Their visits were the boots I so desperately needed to get me through the first few days after my operation”
It absolutely ate me up inside to think that there was a chance I wouldn’t be around to see my beautiful girls grow up if I didn’t win this battle.
Soon after, Natalie received more bad news. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes which meant more surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy along with all their debilitating side effects of hair loss, nausea and constant fatigue.
Breast cancer is a life changing and highly traumatic event. Some say it made them stronger and strengthened the family as a result. Others say it destroyed their family and their relationship, sadly this was true for Natalie.
Her partner of 10 years and father to her two beautiful daughters was not able to cope with the immediate stress and strain of her illness, the added pressure of looking after their two young daughters when Natalie had extended periods in hospital and the unknown future ahead.
With her family living interstate and her partner gone Natalie thought her world couldn’t get any worse. She had to put her casual job on hold until she completes her treatment, which means she hasn’t had any income other than her single mother benefits. Thankfully generous donations are helping Natalie make ends meet with grocery vouchers and electricity bill payments, whilst our Young Women’s Support Group is helping her keep on top of things emotionally.
Life can change in an instant. With 1 in 7 people diagnosed in WA every single day, it’s more a matter of when, not if someone you love will be affected.
This Christmas, many families are desperately in need of your help. By making an urgent donation of $50.00 or even $100.00 can help heroes like Natalie and her girls to celebrate without additional financial struggle. When it’s difficult to pay the rent and the year has been so challenging, your donation will provide vital support to people who need it most.