Women — ‘Self care non-ne­go­tiable’

Waihi Leader - - News - By ME­LANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

Waihi Beach woman Viv Beck­ett de­liv­ered a pow­er­ful mes­sage for breast can­cer aware­ness.

She was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer six months ago af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a 26mm lump in her right breast.

“It was just a lit­tle lump . . . and guys, I am your physio and did not feel it un­til then.

“I had a lot of cysts over the years and for me lumps were lumps.

“Or I sub­con­sciously just ig­nored it . . . Or I was com­pla­cent and my mam­mo­gram was clear but mam­mo­grams are still the gold stan­dard,” she says.

Two weeks be­fore the di­ag­no­sis, Viv was hik­ing the Tongariro Cross­ing with her hus­band Tony.

“And we were booked in to do more Great walks . . . We had to do the Abel Tas­man with friends in the South Is­land but they did it without us.”

She un­der­went fur­ther tests — mam­mo­grams, ul­tra sound scans, biopsy and waited for the re­sults on De­cem­ber 20.

“I re­mem­ber that day . . . Our GP came knock­ing on our door at 7am while we were still fluff­ing around, hav­ing cof­fee, ready to go to work . . . She came and told us the bad news (god bless her) be­fore I had my sched­uled ap­point­ments. “Tail spin on steroids,” she says. More re­sults from her pathol­o­gist showed mi­cro-metas­ta­sis in the nose. “The roller coaster be­gan.” Viv started hav­ing a hor­mone therapy, then started chemo­ther­apy in April with her last ses­sion planned for next month.

She says early de­tec­tion is key to help chances of sur­vival. “Self care is non-ne­go­tiable . . . Ladies, check your breast!

“Also make sure you have a good med­i­cal in­sur­ance and please if you are tired in your life, stop, take a break, have some sleep.”

Viv says that her jour­ney through can­cer helped her to re­flect and reeval­u­ate her life.

She spoke at the Pink Rib­bon Break­fast or­gan­ised by Waihi Beach coach Vic­to­ria Le­mon and Waihi Beach Ho­tel owner Amy Vi­dler last Sun­day.

The sold-out event had 80 women and men tak­ing part.

They raised $1300 for the cause but more pro­ceeds were to be counted.

When asked to speak at the event, Viv says she spoke not just about her story but for all of the oth­ers touched by can­cer.

By set­ting up the fundraiser, Vic­to­ria also wanted to pay trib­ute to her mother and breast can­cer sur­vivor Jackie Whit­worth.

“This be­came com­pletely to the fore­front of my world. I have al­ways sup­ported the cause but re­ally wanted to get in­volved this time,” she says.

When asked by Vic­to­ria, Amy jumped on board and the team say they were over­whelmed with sup­port.

“We have not had to go ask­ing peo­ple for prizes, we had peo­ple ring­ing us wanted to do­nate prizes. I just want to pass on our thanks to each of our sup­port­ers,” Vic­to­ria says.

Some of the women at the Pink Rib­bon break­fast.

PHO­TOS / ME­LANIE CAMOIN.

Breast can­cer sur­vivor Jackie Whit­worth.

Waihi Beach woman Viv Beck­ett spoke about her breast can­cer ex­pe­ri­ence.

Many lo­cal busi­nesses sup­ported the fundraiser.

Or­gan­iser of the Pink Rib­bon Break­fast, Vic­to­ria Le­mon (left) and Amy Vi­dler.

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