Go backMoira's Breast Cancer Story
Moira is a happy confident woman who is involved in her community as well as caring for her quadriplegic husband. We asked Moira to share her story of the day she was told she had breast cancer – and how this impacted and changed her life.
The day Moira was told she had breast cancer, in 2012, she and her husband had just moved to a lovely coastal town to retire, to enjoy the quiet life and some boating. A routine mammogram showed that further investigation was necessary. Everything moved in slow motion. Moira’s vivid memory of sitting in the waiting room reading the posters, seeing the one which said, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. She counted the other women in the room and thought that maybe 2 of these ladies could receive this news today.
Moira was right, she and the lady sitting beside her.
After discussion with her doctor and Colin her husband, Moira decided she should have a mastectomy. Moira’s mother had breast cancer and as Moira is the primary caregiver for her husband she needed to be well to support him.
I asked Moira what single piece of advice she would give to a woman who has just been diagnosed. She replied ‘It will feel like a rollercoaster ride and the waiting will be the worst, so be kind to yourself and take the time you need for you. If you are a researcher, find out as much as possible, so there won’t be too many surprises. For me, knowledge is power, but that isn’t for everyone’.
I asked Moira what she thought are the most important questions to ask your doctor initially. ‘That would depend on your personal diagnosis,’ she said ‘but I would suggest to always having someone with you to be a second set of ears and to take notes. It can be overwhelming’.
Moira decided she did not want to have reconstruction and she recalled to me she was so excited to be going for her first breast form fitting. ‘I had been researching and wanted a contact form, but discovered it was too soon after surgery for that, so I took the advice of the fitter and went with an Amoena silicone form and Lara bra. I remember walking out to the car where Colin was waiting, and he gave me a great big smile as I nodded to him. I loved that there was a matching bounce on my mastectomy side’.
Moira had been visited by the McGrath Foundation Breast Care nurse, who offered a lot of information and she also passed on an invitation for her to attend the Christmas meeting of the local Breast Cancer support group.
A Support Group is more than talking about cancer
Moira’s first thought was that she was not going to make breast cancer a hobby, and she didn’t want to sit around talking about breast cancer. After some consideration and because she was new in town, she decided to go at least once. So with a big smile and a plate of nibbles turned up at the meeting.
Moira highly recommends attending a support group. Through Moira’s involvement in the support group she has assimilated well into the community. She is always available to help others and is a source of information to the group and her community.