“Around this time last year – not long before Christmas – I noticed a small lump above my right collar bone and after a visit to my GP, an ultrasound and a needle biopsy was arranged. Shortly after, I had surgery to remove swollen lymph glands, which confirmed a diagnosis of blood cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My initial reaction was disbelief.
My father unfortunately passed away from Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2014 after a four-year battle. His passing seems like only yesterday.
I am 31 years old. I have a beautiful Mum, and three older siblings as well as six nieces and nephews. I work in architecture and interior design and I have built my own practice that has now been running for five years. Once treatment commenced I, of course, had concerns for my family and my business, my staff and my clients. But I had hoped that everything would be ok.
Half way through my treatment earlier this year, a friend I had made through a Lymphoma website who had also been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma suggested we attend a Look Good Feel Better workshop together. The workshop was our first chance to catch up.
Other than being shown how to draw on my eyebrows and learning that they are “sisters and not twins”, it was lovely to connect with other women going through cancer. The main thing I learned was that a simple activity – like a group of women getting together to learn how to put on make-up and tie headscarves – can bring people together. It was more about the conversations for me.
I was surprised to learn that Look Good Feel Better – a free national service for cancer patients – doesn’t receive any government funding. It’s the generosity of the community and people like you that ensures patients can continue to benefit from the program.
I would definitely recommend Look Good Feel Better to others going through treatment for cancer, as it’s a great way to connect with people in a similar situation, in a safe environment. As a Christmas gift to those who need it most, I ask you to please consider making a donation to the program. Your gift will ensure Look Good Feel Better can continue to support patients like me across Australia in the coming year.
I finished treatment in April this year and still have the same job, the same house, a lot of the same friends, and of course my incredible family by my side; and I am so looking forward to celebrating with those who mean the most to me this festive season.
I hope you will consider making a donation to Look Good Feel Better before the year draws to a close. I was so happy to have the chance to attend the workshop and I hope that other cancer patients will be able to benefit from the service in the coming year. Please make a donation today”.