Marisa's Breast Cancer Journey

In 2016, soon after my 50th birthday, I was told I had breast cancer. I was booked to go to a champagne dinner – I took the ice pack I was given after the biopsy and popped it into the fridge next to the champagne. Let’s just say, I will never drink that champagne house again!
I wanted to lead as normal a life as possible, I kept working, but distraction through adversity obviously suits me. I found it very hard to use the term “journey” – I can think of far better journeys I want to be on than this one.

As a non-expert and an unwilling player, I have, for some reason, decided also that there must be some good in all this so I have crafted my “5 Best Things about Having Breast Cancer” and would love to share my learnings with you:

  • We already know that family and friends matter most – well, they reach a whole new level of mattering when you have cancer.
  • Golden is every second of every day. Even on not so great days - Quantity, for once, is better than quality.
  • There is one good thing about chemotherapy – you save a small fortune on hairdressers and waxing appointments.
  • This may not be authorised, but I believed just for once that I had the right to use the disabled car park when I felt dreadful and couldn’t walk far, with even the strictest parking inspector empathetic to my plight when I removed my wig.
  • It is truly the best excuse to get out of things - my daughter would say "Mum are you going to do the washing up?" … “No, sorry I have cancer". Even with AGL, "Your electricity bill is overdue" … "Sorry about that, I usually pay on time, but I've got cancer, you know." It's a real crowd-pleasing excuse.

I am so honoured to be a part of Bonfire’s Sheroes campaign because championing research is where the ultimate success lies.