I’m Min and I live in a beautiful part of coastal Australia, a five-minute walk to the beach where I walk our dog twice a day. I have some lovely friends and I enjoy yoga and bike riding and catching up with my family.
In March 2018, a symptom I had noticed led to a complete breast screen which showed two tiny cysts, but nothing to investigate further. I moved out of Sydney in August 2018, started working in February 2019, and after a follow-up mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsies in September 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, HER2+ - who knew there were so many types of breast cancer!
My life changed a lot after my diagnosis. It becomes a whirlwind of medical appointments - breast surgeon, oncologist, biopsies, MRIs. I was working full time and I was encouraged to stay at work but not knowing what the future held, work was put on hold. The biggest change I experienced was feeling a loss of independence - loss of financial independence that comes with paid employment, and loss of social connectivity that you have with work. It was surprising for me to realise how much I valued my independence. I felt as though everything was out of my control while going through treatment. I just accepted that what was happening was for the best and knew that I would get through.
During the early stages of chemo, I came across information about Look Good Feel Better. Living regionally and not having a breast care nurse, you can feel quite isolated and have to do a lot of research yourself. I decided to participate in a workshop and it was the best thing that I did. It was SO MUCH more than I anticipated.
The volunteers were so lovely and everyone's feelings were taken into consideration. The products were amazing and second to none - I felt so pampered and cared for. I really felt the love, like I was wrapped in a big hug.
I learnt from the Look Good Feel Better workshop that looking after your appearance actually does make you feel better. You may think that having no hair is a small thing, but having no hair, then no eyelashes, and no eyebrows really makes you feel like you’re facing the world stripped bare. Having some guidance as to how to draw on eyebrows and highlight your eyes when you have no eyelashes really helped.
It is a wonderful program that builds your self-esteem when everything around you has changed. The lovely knowledgeable volunteers, the caring, nurturing, empathetic atmosphere and the beautiful products give you the confidence and skills to participate more in life. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to participate in a Look Good Feel Better workshop and yes, it's a little frightening to meet with a small group of complete strangers, but it was one of the best things that I did.
I felt really spoilt and nurtured and afterwards, would put on my face, and go out feeling a million dollars.
For the past two years my son and I have participated in Dry July and have raised about $2,000 for Look Good Feel Better which has helped fund two full face-to-face workshops.
If you can, I encourage you to support Look Good Feel Better this Dry July so others can benefit from this wonderful program the way I did.
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