My 40 Year Milestone

August 2nd, 2016

As a 70 year old female I am about to enter my 41st year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1976. I felt I could not let this milestone pass without some sort of celebration.

Inviting friends for lunch (one for each decade), I wore a purple jumper and lit a purple candle (the colour for valour).

I reminisced about the types of breast prosthesis I’ve worn over the years, from a soft fabric egg shape filled with cotton wool, a type of seed (probably bird seed), an oil prosthesis for swimming (which on one occasion when diving at the local pool the prosthesis hit the water before I did), various silicone, and new style cups filled with fibre filling and even a knitted variety. Today I wear two different styles of prosthesis as some breast tissue remains on one side.

Breast, bone and lung cancer have invaded over the years since my initial diagnosis, but being strong and having a positive outlook on life has helped.

My mother once told me that as a child I had a strong will or, did she perhaps mean I was strong willed? Needless to say negativity is not welcome in my life.

I accept help from family, friends and neighbours, whether it be a home cooked casserole, an offer to vacuum or take home a basket of ironing. The simple pleasure of receiving a bunch of flowers from friends or neighbours is also welcome – it shows they care. Chocolates are welcomed too!

A loving family with a wonderful circle of friendship is important for anyone going through the trauma of any illness, and I certainly have that in my favour.

My husband used the nickname ‘Pitbull’ for me, as he said I never let go.

My eldest daughter seems to have some of my genes and also a strong will, as she too battled breast cancer for 16 years and is today regarded as being in remission. My youngest daughter continues to have has regular checks and remains clear of the disease, and I’d like it to stay that way.

Rene Pezy

Rene Pezy

Kadina SA