I am proud and honoured to welcome my friend Deb Eccleston here to Save Mum’s Sanity, to share her health wake-up call with you all. Deb’s powerful words are a reminder of how important it is to listen to our bodies and seek help when we feel it’s telling us that something is not quite right. Over to you, Deb!
In October five years ago, I was tired.
I had three young children, a part-time job that helped pay the bills and my husband had just started his dream job as a fire fighter.
Life was busy, so it was only natural to feel tired, stressed and maybe a little overwhelmed.
What wasn’t natural was my determination to ignore what my body was telling me. I was underweight and as a result had frequent dizzy spells. I had a cold that never went away. But rather than take off my self-imposed blindfold and address my own health, I just brushed it all aside with the feeble excuse of “I don’t have time to be sick”.
What came next made me wish I’d made the time when I had the chance.
A pea-sized lump I’d discovered in my left breast was cancer. Wake-up calls don’t come any louder than that.
What followed – multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation – made me yearn for, and regret neglecting, the fit and healthy body I once had.
I’m not saying that being tired and stressed caused my breast cancer. Being tired and stressed is part and parcel of modern day life.
What I’m saying is that women need to listen to their bodies. When you’re tired, rest. When you’re stressed, do something that makes you relax. When you’re unwell, go see your doctor. It’s not rocket-science.
I’m one of the lucky ones – I have a second chance to treat myself kindly. What I’m saying to you is don’t wait for a second chance – get it right the first time. Turn hindsight into foresight. And above all, realise that your health and wellbeing is just as important as your loved ones.
Deb Eccleston is a mum of three, journalist and breast cancer survivor living on the Gold Coast. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2008, at the age of 33, she realised there wasn’t a support system in place on the Gold Coast for young women affected by breast cancer. Towards the end of 2009 she set about establishing a support group called Sassy Survivors with the simple purpose to ensure every Gold Coast woman under the age of 45 diagnosed with breast cancer knows there are others who have been through the same battle and triumphed.
In 2011, Deb decided to create a calendar with the aim of showing a positive side to breast cancer, which sold more than 1200 copies and catapulted Sassy Survivors to a whole new level. This year, with so many gorgeous members in the group Deb thought it was only fitting to create another calendar to show the world that there is life after breast cancer. The Sassy Survivors 2014 Calendar is the group’s way of providing visual proof that life after cancer does exist… and it truly is beautiful. All money raised from the sale of these calendars will enable Sassy Survivors to keep doing what they do best – providing ongoing support to young Gold Coast women affected by breast cancer.
To read more about Sassy Survivors, visit their website.