My girlfriend and I have both gone through breast cancer, so the two of us decided to combine forces this year and host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast.
We are holding an event in Auckland on 17th May where I’m based.
Tickets to the event cost $20 and people will be encouraged to come along in a pink outfit. I’m looking forward to getting people together, creating those connections and having fun, as well as making a contribution to a real worthwhile cause.
My breast cancer journey began a while ago, in 2008. I felt a lump, but it took me three months to pick up the courage to go and get it checked.
I got the lump checked by mammogram and was called back by the doctors to have an ultrasound done.
This was just the beginning of what would be a full-on and scary experience. The week I spent waiting for the biopsy results was the worst week ever.
While my diagnosis was not a happy result overall, I still felt a sense of relief when the oncologist told me I was fortunate and the cancer had been found early. It was a stage 1 tumour, and slow growing.
I badly wanted to be in control of what was happening to me and my body and after three days of sheer panic, and helplessness, I made the decision to be more proactive and take care of myself.
I made significant life changes to help myself cope including daily meditation, overhauling my diet to eat healthier, and I stopped smoking.
I had a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed as the cancer had travelled. It was highly recommended that the surgeons go back in and remove more of my lymph nodes.
I told the doctors I would go away for a month and heal it myself. I stopped working, and lived with my family for six weeks, doing everything I could to self-heal.
When I went back to the doctor, they found nothing more. They still recommended chemotherapy, radiation and various medications. After seeking my family’s advice, I opted for six weeks of localised radiotherapy, and otherwise continued using natural therapies.
I’ve continued to be checked annually, and it’s now 14 years later and I am still cancer free.