No need for recovery road to be lonely
The road to beating cancer can be a long one but you don’t have to travel it alone, says one Blenheim cancer survivor.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer came out of the blue for Raewyn Haggland.
The non-smoking, regular exercising and healthy eating mum thought she was doing everything she could to avoid the disease.
‘‘You never think it will be you, and when it is it almost doesn’t feel real,’’ she says.
The thought of seeking help from the Marlborough Cancer Society was one she disliked and even feared. It wasn’t until an oncology nurse asked if she would be OK for someone from the society to visit her at home that she realised what help was on offer.
‘‘I had the totally wrong perception of the Cancer Society. I thought it was depressing - that they were about death, but when I got to know what they do I learned they are not like that at all,’’ Raewyn says.
‘‘I wish I had known about them sooner.’’
She has benefited from support groups, home visits, art classes and has used their offices as a refuge when things became too much.
It wasn’t easy for her to open up at first and it was only because close friend Gwen Anderson encouraged her to attend support groups that she began to find the help she needed.
Raewyn was diagnosed with cancer in October 2012 and had surgery in December that year. This was followed by six months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. ‘‘In May 2013 I did the ‘living with cancer’ course. I was so nervous at the first meeting I spent most of it in the bathroom,’’ she says.
However, it proved to be a helpful outlet and a place she could find support.
‘‘I’m still part of a group of ladies from the course who meet once a month for dinner. In the early days we would talk about our treatment, but now we discuss life, our families and our future.
‘‘Blenheim really is the best place to have cancer because there is so much support, from the society, from people and businesses as well.’’
Raewyn will be helping out on the day at the Marlborough Relay For Life on March 11 at Lansdowne Park.
She has taken part in the relay twice before, but is keen to show her support this year by helping make the day a success.
To register a team for the relay email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blenheim breast cancer survivor Raewyn Haggland will be helping out at the Marlborough Relay For Life on March 11.