Edith Maling knows the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
“It’s about reminding women of all ages, because breast cancer is becoming way too common, just to be aware of how to self-examine. I think it is wonderful that for at least one month there is this incredible focus on it. I’m always surprised to hear of girlfriends who don’t have regular mammograms. There are those that say they’re not convinced that it’s the best way to detect, but for me it was. I was totally oblivious. I had a mammogram every two years and it was my biannual mammogram that picked it up. I had a 4cm tumour and I didn’t feel it. So it’s really important.”
It’s been a year since Edith Maling finished her treatment for oestrogen positive breast cancer. She had reconstruction surgery in January.
“I get a lot of joint pain but that’s the only down side. I manage the side effects by keeping up the exercise, because once you start moving then you are fine. It is just that when you have sat down for a little while and then you get up you feel like an old lady. You just creak and everything is sore. But once you get the movement, everything is fine.”
Edith is keeping up a home practise of yoga, walking and cycling daily on a stationary bike. She’s also had follow up sessions with a psychologist here at Lifehouse.
“I was a textbook case—within a few weeks of finishing treatment I just fell into a bit of a hole. I had read that that is quite common, because you don’t have the support anymore and you are doing a lot of soul searching. So I must admit I did fall into that. You start to think, ‘What do I do now?’
Edith has joined the committee for the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation and is working on their major fundraiser in October.
“It is just that sense of giving back. I’m also going to submit my paperwork to be a volunteer at Lifehouse. I remember meeting the volunteers handing out sandwiches and drinks in Day Therapy. It’s very full circle, and there were some really lovely volunteers when I was here.”
“I am very grateful to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse for the wonderful medical staff and the supportive environment.”