This month is Breast Cancer Awareness. We speak with Jayney…
“Drawing attention to how breast cancer and how women’s bodies
will change, potentially through treatments or just through the mastectomy as
I mentioned, and a reconstruction, it’s about recognising that that
too can be a beautiful shift in your body as well.”
“It’s the realisation that for me that cancer was, for me personally and this is not for everybody, was definitely a manifestation of something I needed to learn, and cancer allowed me to heal myself emotionally and it helped me connect internally, emotionally, and spiritually and then the natural progression of that was then to take that externally and connect with other people.
One of the biggest things for me was working with and talking to women, particularly around cancer and cancer treatment. You know, when I say to women who I know question life after chemotherapy or when they’re sitting there with no hair, or when their breasts have been removed, you know you’re really questioning your physical self-worth in those moments.
When I can sit there and say to women, “Well I have had chemotherapy. I have had radiotherapy. I have had a mastectomy and reconstruction. I am fifty”, and you know, so you can sit there that far along and go, “…and this is you know, this is great”. I mean I’m not saying I look great, but I think I look alright. So, it gives them the confidence to think it can get better. Because when you’re sitting there with no hair or no breasts… or potentially not even an idea of a future, it’s really hard to stay positive, but when you have a great role model in front of you going, “Hey, look, you know, it can be something wonderful – amazing, in fact”, sometimes that’s just what people need.
Being fifty is actually a brilliant time of life. Really for me it’s been… it was like starting again. It was like a new chapter, it was like ‘this is the start of my life’; it’s so exciting.
But you know, I know it sounds ridiculous but even on the odd days where I’ve said to somebody “ah yeah, I’m fifty” and they go “you’re NOT fifty!!” and then you go “God, I’m hot!” [laughter]
Just from a self-confidence perspective, sometimes just to hear that you just go “yeah, I’m doin’ alright!”
Drawing attention to how breast cancer and how women’s bodies will change, potentially through treatments or just through the mastectomy as I mentioned, and a reconstruction, it’s about recognising that that too can be a beautiful shift in your body as well, it doesn’t have to be a negative thing, it can be celebrated and so I think it was the ageing, celebrating getting older and celebrating our bodies post-illness as well as just, you know, being a woman.”
– Jayney, October 2017