It is so easy to get caught up in the daily stresses of running a fashion business. And it is all too
tempting to feel sorry for oneself when things are pressured and the challenges seem overwhelming.
But then sometimes something or someone comes along and puts things in perspective.
I want to share with you the story of my friend K.
K was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer two years ago. She is a documentary filmmaker and was just about to launch into an exciting project- a huge leap forward in her career. She had just begun a new relationship, unexpected and wildly passionate. We met up at a trendy Fitzroy bar just before her world came crashing down around her. She was ecstatic. Life just seemed to be going her way.
The lump came on quickly. From nothing to several centimetres in the blink of an eye. And then her diagnosis. She had the worst kind of breast cancer. In the genes. In the breast, ovaries and fallopian tubes. They all came off and out. The chemo was the full strength Terminator version. As close to killing her as they could get without actually doing it.
And all through the process she documented her journey on social media. The love and comments were so caring. Her friends were so proud of her, so inspired and so supportive. But there were warning signs. A number of women came to her privately and told her not to share her story.....it would backfire.
Now on the road to recovery she is fighting hard to get her creative voice back...but it is not the lack of ideas which has been the obstacle. K has found that public sharing of her journey has worked against her. The very people who proclaimed support on social media have shunned her when it comes to funding her current project. It seems that she is now 'too risky' even if she comes with a clean bill of health.
K is a brave woman and will fight on. I am sure she will go on to make amazing films. But seeing first hand how the stigma is attached to her within her industry horrified me.
None of us want to be forced to discover just how brave we can be. And no one should be stigmatised as a breast cancer survivor.
If you have a personal story you would like to share please comment.