Women — ‘Self care non-negotiable’
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.
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.