“I had some family history of cancer and an Aunt who had recently passed away as a result, so when my GP diagnosed me with breast cancer I wasn’t in complete shock.  Even though I thought the chances of it happening to me were low, I figured that since I was diagnosed, I would do what was necessary to get treatment.

Since diagnosis, from a personal perspective, I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends and family who have rallied around me, both in person and online. My partner and children who are aged 11 and 8 have been a great source of love and hope. From a career point of view, although I have limited the hours I work in the retail industry, it has been a healthy source of sanity for me to socialize with others.

Most days I dress in vintage clothing from the 1940s/50s and I go by the pinup name Miss Jade Serpentine. I am keeping a positive attitude since my diagnosis and having been sharing my progress through my pinup persona. My view is that, if I can be open and share what I am going through, that I could potentially help someone out there who is experiencing similar things to me.

Each cycle of chemo knocks me out in some way or another but I have a fighting spirit and I know that it is just temporary. I am hopeful that the cancer is getting smaller every day and I am getting stronger every day as a result.

I had heard about the Look Good Feel Better workshop many years ago through media and then I saw a brochure in the hospital waiting room. Even though I was maintaining my pinup look, I thought by going to the workshop I would meet locals going through cancer treatment. I was also interested in learning the best way to look after myself in the coming months.

I learned about the various skincare products and techniques better suited for skin during chemotherapy. I also realized that feeling good on the inside would automatically be reflected on the outside. I was given the opportunity to share my experience and expertise with the other participants and volunteers by demonstrating how I tie up my turbans and some of my make-up techniques.

The volunteers who run the workshops were just fantastic, they were all happy to talk to the group, encouraged us and gave us help where needed. I had a support person with me on the day and the volunteers were happy to chat with her and include her in the workshop experience too.

The workshop reinforced that having a confident attitude and appearance is one of the most positive things that I could do to get better. I would definitely recommend and strongly encourage anyone in my position to register for the workshop – sooner rather than later!”

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