The month of October is breast cancer awareness month, “an annual international health campaign …. to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.” (wikipedia) It is symbolised by the pink ribbon, a colour taken up by buns, water bottles, T shirts, balloons and more. It emphasises survival, beating the disease, and research towards the push for a cure.
October the 13th
One day in October, the 13th, is nominated as the day on which to be aware of those with advanced breast cancer. The diagnosis of advanced cancer (also known as metastatic, secondary or Stage IV cancer) means that the cancer has spread from the original site to distant parts of the body (e.g. bones, liver or lungs). As things currently stand, once this has occurred, there is no cure.
A Different Story
Women with advanced breast cancer live with a different story from that of women who are dealing with early breast cancer. They struggle with how to come to terms with the unwelcome facts with which they are presented; that this is a incurable disease; that they will not be able to pick up their lives after treatment; that they will more than likely be having some form of treatment, often with painful or difficult side-effects, for the rest of their foreshortened lives; that they have to face the prospect of ongoing losses as the disease progresses.
All of these facts are confronting and disturbing, and are difficult to speak about. The women in our group sometimes describe themselves as the Invisible Women. They can feel alone, even in the face of loving support from their families, as there are few places where they feel they can talk about their experiences without frightening or burdening those around them.
The Advanced Breast Cancer Group is a free service that has been running since 1999, that offers a space where women from Queensland who have advanced breast cancer can meet with other women to share their experience and find support and encouragement and understanding.
To find out more please browse this website.
To contact us email [email protected] or phone on 07 3217 2998
To donate to our service click here https://www.advancedbreastcancergroup.org.au/support-the-abcg/
To donate and purchase a dozen bottles of fine wine, click here http://www.goodwillwine.com.au/charities/advanced-breast-cancer-group