Don’t sweat the small stuff, says sur­vivor

The New Zealand Herald - - News -

Shona Kel­way, 55, de­scribes her­self as the per­fect breast can­cer statis­tic.

“I’m of that age, I’m Ma¯ ori and I’m over­weight.”

The Pukekohe woman was di­ag­nosed three years ago, yet against those odds she man­aged to beat the dis­ease by opt­ing for treat­ment as soon as it was de­tected.

Kel­way says, for her, it was about do­ing ev­ery­thing in her power to make sure she is around to see her chil­dren and grand­chil­dren grow up.

But she un­der­stands that for some it isn’t that black and white.

“I did a talk to some ra­di­ol­o­gists about a year ago and we tried to an­swer why some Ma¯ ori weren’t tak­ing up treat­ment.”

She said some women found it too time con­sum­ing — trans­port was an is­sue, poverty was an is­sue and some felt it was more im­por­tant to look af­ter the other peo­ple in their fam­ily.

“Oth­ers just felt that they didn’t want to know, they weren’t even get­ting mam­mo­grams and some just didn’t feel like their lives were that im­por­tant.”

Kel­way said it sounded cliched but hav­ing breast can­cer changed her out­look on life. “I want to live life to the fullest and I try not to get too bogged down in what’s not im­por­tant. It’s all about be­ing happy and mak­ing oth­ers around you happy — don’t sweat the small stuff.

“That’s the mes­sage we need to get through.” — Emma Rus­sell

Shona Kel­way says she wants to live life to the fullest and tries not to “get too bogged down in what’s not im­por­tant”.

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