Women who attend Boob Club have a broad range of different experiences with cancer. Here are just a few stories from our members…
I walked out of my very first Boob Club elated. They understood! I didn’t have to explain! I’m not the only one going through this! I instantly felt connected to this group of hip young women, who all happened to be on the breast cancer roller coaster with me. There were women going through treatment, those who’d just finished, and others who were several years out from diagnosis. Life does go on after breast cancer, and here was my proof. Thank you Boob Club for the support, friendship, laughter and invaluable words of advice since that very first meeting. Boob Club rocks!
Nicole. 31 at diagnosis, Stage 1, Grade 2, Er+, Pr+, Her2+, lumpectomy, chemotherapy (Taxol with Zoladex), Herceptin, radiation, hormone treatment (tamoxifen).
My first time at Boob Club was an unusual evening in that a workshop was being held about sexuality after breast cancer. There were two presenters focusing on slightly different topics, but all about sexuality and things you can do to build connection with yourself and your partner. I found this eye-opening as this aspect of cancer treatment had been completely ignored by my medical team, including my psychologist. The women were welcoming and friendly and I had some opportunity to chat with others going through a similar experience as a younger woman. The whole experience lifted my spirits and helped me to feel part of something that wasn’t entirely awful, but was an opportunity to meet new people!
Kate. 40 at diagnosis, Stage 2A (bit of an odd one!), Grade 2, PR+, ER+, HER2-, Mastectomy, Radiotherapy (no chemo), genetic test (BRCA2 mutation +), hormone treatment with Tamoxifen and currently Zoladex, will have ovaries removed at 45.
I went along to a Breast Friends dinner shortly after surgery but before commencing radiation. I was nervous so I sat in my car out the front and called a friend while getting up the courage to walk in. There was a large group of women at a table in the pub so I dived in and asked ‘Excuse me ladies, this might sound like an odd question but do you ladies have breast cancer?’ There was a resounding yes with much laughing, and I was welcomed. Attending Breast Friends and connecting with other women is now an immensely important part of coming to terms with what it means to have had breast cancer.
Rose. 36 at diagnosis, Stage 1, grade 3, lumpectomy, radiation, oncogene test, no chemo, hormone treatment (zoladex and tamoxifen).
When my Breast Care nurse told me about Breast Friends, I thanked her and put the flyer to the side thinking, “I’m not one of those people who needs a support group. I can do this on my own”.
My sister was my amazing support person who came along to every appointment and test and spent just as much time as I did reading and preparing for all the decisions. It wasn’t until after surgery that she prompted me to consider going along.
“What do they do? Do they sit around drinking cups of tea and talking about their feelings all the time?” That’s not for me. So when I arrived at my first meeting I felt apprehensive about what lay ahead. The fact that it was in private room at a local pub should have been an indicator that this isn’t your usual support group. It felt like a blind date as I self-consciously asked for “Angela” and received what I felt was almost a knowing nod. Or maybe that was my overactive imagination. But in the room were a dynamic, lively and downright hilarious group of women who welcomed me with kindness, understanding and open arms.
The support of my sister, family and friends has been incredible. However being able to turn to a group of women who’ve travelled the same journey as me has been invaluable. They’ve helped me approach diagnosis, treatment and my life ahead in an even more postitive and realistic way than I could have, had I not included them in my life.
Bec. 43 at diagnosis, stage 1, grade 3, lumpectomy, chemo (TC with Zoladex), radiation, oncogene test, hormone treatment (tamoxifen).
Boob Club is the most fun I have every month – I describe it to friends as a social club masquerading as a support group. Yes, there have been dark days, but I often come home hoarse after Boob Club from all the laughing and chatting. These ladies have been with me on the IVF rollercoaster, through my post-cancer-life crisis and subsequent career change. I LOVE it when our ladies get their hair back after chemo. It’s a nice reminder that there is good after all the bad. You might think cancer is a tenuous link to have with someone but we all get on really well. Four other members live in the same neighbourhood as me and they’re all lovely – it’s kind of shocking to think I would not have met them if not for cancer.
Erin. 34 at diagnosis, grade 1, stage 1, lumpectomy, radiotherapy, no chemo, hormone treatment (tamoxifen). BRCA negative.