The Hervey Bay Breast Cancer Support Group helps women and their families affected by breast cancer.
The Hervey Bay Breast Cancer Support Group helps women and their families affected by breast cancer. Contributed

Breast Cancer Support Group offers faith, hope and courage

WHEN you get a phone call to have another mammogram you immediately feel overwhelmed and scared of the unknown and start to wonder how you will cope if they tell you that you have breast cancer.

One out of every 10 women receives that phone call and most times they are reassured that all is well and further tests are necessary to rule anything out, but when you find out you have breast cancer your life changes in many ways.

Sixteen years ago, Sue Albress went to the Bundaberg Breast Screen Clinic for more tests and found out she had a cancer in her right breast.

"The Breast Screen Clinic had only just come on in Bundaberg and back then they said that usually one or two people have to go back for more tests. And guess what, I was the one out of the two with cancer," Sue said.

"I was shocked and thought if someone is going to get it then it has to be me. I was taking HRT at the time and my oestrogen level was positive when they tested it.

"But at least they caught it early and I had a right side mastectomy a month after diagnosis. What else could I do but accept it?

"I didn't need any support but when they started the Breast Cancer Support Group up here, I came to have a sticky nose. I've been here ever since," she said.

Janet Donnelly had both breasts removed in 1998 and said she had to be positive.

"I've got other cancers that have come up since then and have chemo every three weeks but I always try to keep a positive mind," she said.

"I'm not that worried about it anymore and take it in my stride. I keep up the treatment and get on with life," Janet said.

The Hervey Bay Breast Cancer support group has been offering a friendly shoulder to women with breast cancer for 10 years and co-ordinator Ellen Duncan said it was more than a support group.

"We also have Pam who is a specially trained volunteer in breast cancer palliative care and she visits the hospital after a woman has surgery. We're also available 24/7 if anyone needs us," Ellen said.

"I suggest that every woman should self examine as you are the only one who knows your body and notice any changes."

The group's mantra is Faith, Hope and Courage and they would love to share your journey with you.

They meet at 2pm on the second Tuesday of every month at the Hervey Bay Bowls Club, Denman's Camp Rd, Torquay.

Phone Ellen on 4125 2086.