BCNA News 01 Nov 2017
Christmas is supposed to be a time to reflect and celebrate with family and friends. For women newly diagnosed with breast cancer however, the holiday season can be full of uncertainty and isolation.
This is what Jennie’s Christmas was like last year. After discovering a lump in her breast in early December, she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Christmas Eve. Instead of relaxing with friends and family, her diagnosis left her feeling anxious and alone on Christmas.
She called two referred surgeons and received no answer – they were both closed until January. With two weeks to wait for news or information about her diagnosis, Jennie immediately started worrying.
Fortunately, BCNA’s online network was there to support Jennie over the Christmas period when health practitioners and support services are traditionally closed.
‘My first post was one of desperation, but when I started getting responses from the wonderful members on the site, I calmed down straight away. The first response to my post came through just 10 minutes later, and from then the responses kept coming,’ Jennie said.
‘I was worried the two-week wait to even see a surgeon could mean the cancer progressing, but they assured me that such a short period wouldn’t make a difference. I received advice on how to get through the waiting period and was directed to resources on the BCNA website that were amazing,’
‘I started the day feeling desperate, but thanks to the posts on the online network, I actually ended the day feeling really positive and even laughing a little,’ she said.
Launched in 2010, BCNA’s online network is an active online community where Australians affected by breast cancer can find information and support at all hours of the day or night, 365 days a year. It is completely free to join and use.
Currently the online network receives more than 30,000 visits a month from more than 6,000 different users. People connect to discuss a wide range of challenges they face, from treatment and side effects to relationship issues.
Every day in Australia, 48 people will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer’. This Christmas, we are asking you to donate to ensure that we can continue to help people just like Jennie get the support they need at this uncertain time.
By making a generous gift to BCNA this Christmas, you can help ensure BCNA can continue hosting the online network – an essential service for Australians affected by breast cancer.