Supporting all cancer survivors
Doctors have told Monique that she is cancer-free. But she’ll never really be free of cancer, because like so many cancer ‘survivors’, the effects of the disease and the years of treatment continue to impact her each day. But she’s turned her experience into a new purpose - dedicating her life to helping other cancer survivors.
While it’s great news that advancements in research and treatment mean more people are beating cancer and living longer, sadly many cancer ‘survivors’, like Monique, will live with the effects of cancer long after.
We want cancer survivors to become truly ‘cancer-free’ by helping them to overcome the years of treatment and impacts of the disease – including physical, mental and financial effects and those on employment and relationships.
We are raising money to build a dedicated Cancer Survivorship and Wellbeing Centre on the ground floor of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer to better support patients and their families who are affected by cancer.
At 36, Monique led a busy life, was dedicated to her career, and had plans for a family. Until she found a lump in her breast.
Receiving her treatment at Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, there were multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and courses of hormone and other drug therapies. She also developed painful breast cancer related lymphoedema which meant she wasn't able to continue working.
“Fortunately, I was cured of cancer. But I remember getting to the five-year mark of being cancer free - which is generally a milestone to be celebrated – and to be honest it was probably the lowest point of my life because I looked at my life and it had just turned completely upside down."
“There was the end of my career which had huge financial implications, there were the physical and emotional aspects, I also lost my fertility and wasn't able to have children. Effectively it was every single aspect of my life.” Monique says.
To her credit, Monique has turned her experience into a new purpose, dedicating her life to helping other cancer survivors. She’s president of a local lymphoedema support group, and has also helped Flinders Foundation by speaking at events to raise awareness of the need for improved cancer care.
You can help other people who are living with the life-long effects of cancer by donating to the Cancer Survivorship and Wellbeing Centre to be located within the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. To read more about this project click here.