Help fight breast cancer
The power of family and a positive outlook helped a breast cancer survivor beat the disease and she wants others to learn from her experience.
Whetu Pickering is speaking out as part of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s Show Your Heart fundraising campaign, which kicked off this week.
The campaign is supported by Arnott’s Tim Tam, Woman’s Day and Countdown supermarkets.
Until May 19 Arnott’s Tim Tam will donate 20 cents to the coalition for every packet of Tim Tam sold at Countdown supermarkets.
Woman’s Day will do the same for every magazine sold.
The coalition needs the funds so it can continue to provide its Step by Step support and information pack free-ofcharge to the 2800 New Zealanders diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
Ms Pickering used the support pack after she was diagnosed in 2011 and says she’d like other women to benefit from it as well.
The mother-of-one was 40 when she found a lump under her arm and was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of the disease, known as triple negative breast cancer.
She had a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy and says that though the treatment was tough she tried to remain strong for her family, especially her son.
‘‘My son had two friends who lost their mums to breast cancer so he was really scared I was going to die.
‘‘He was my focus and I just soldiered on for his sake,’’ she says.
‘‘I put my own worries aside to make sure he was OK.’’
Her friends and family, including her son, husband, mother and sister, were such a strong support for her that it was easy to look on the bright side, she says.
‘‘I just tried to stay positive and act positive. I didn’t want to dwell on the negative so I just carried on as normal and continued to work and do other things.
‘‘In the end, it was like I’d had the common flu rather than cancer,’’ she says.
Ms Pickering says it is great to know there are organisations like the Show Your Heart campaign supporting women going through treatment and hopes Aucklanders will back the campaign.
Whetu Pickering beat breast cancer and will see her son grow up.