IT takes a special person to be a nurse. And it takes a special nurse to be involved in cancer care.
But the Sunshine Coast's Cathy Apelt is one of those special people.
Like most teens at age 17, Cathy was wondering what to do with her life when her parents suggested she try nursing.
Cathy says she has never regretted the choice that her young self made.
Years later, after experience with all different types of cancer and working as a Lifeline volunteer phone counsellor, she saw an advertisement asking for breast-care nurses in the McGrath Foundation - co-founded by Australian cricket champion Glenn McGrath's late wife Jane.
"They advertised positions and I applied," Cathy said.
"I have a background in cancer care and was interested in being a part of more specialised support for those with breast cancer."
Now Cathy has been honoured in the book Take My Hand by another Sunshine Coast resident, Jo Wiles.
The book is a moving tribute not only to Jane McGrath's enduring legacy but also a celebration of the McGrath Foundation's 10th anniversary next month.
Cathy is just one of 105 McGrath specialist breast-care nurses across Australia who provide invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support from the time of a patient's diagnosis and throughout treatment.
In Take My Hand, she features with some of her charges, highlighting the strong bonds that can form between nurses and their patients.
The respect, appreciation and high esteem her patients have for her is evident from their comments in the book.
One breast cancer sufferer, Debbie Lee, described Cathy as a psychic as she seemed to have a sixth sense to call when she was needed the most.
"I wouldn't say that I'm psychic," Cathy laughed.
"I just know they're all going through hard times and I am there for them after they've gone through a hard day of chemo.
"I'm honoured to be there for them during those times."
Cathy's main goal is to connect with people.
She particularly strives to care for those who have no support, or those who are particularly vulnerable.
It's a long and hard journey for those diagnosed with cancer, and those assisting cancer sufferers in that journey need to be calm and as supportive as possible.
"It's important to have balance," Cathy said. "I exercise and do different things to help stay centred, so I can be there for people."
Dealing with the sadness that constantly haunts sufferers requires a great amount of understanding.
"I'm not sure if it's just nursing, but it's important to have a grasp of life and death," Cathy said.
"It's something we can't control."
At the end of the day, Cathy is just happy she can connect with these people and help them through their struggles.
"I feel honoured and privileged to be working in the area I love and to be able to reach out to people when they need someone," she said
The financial impact of breast cancer
A diagnosis of breast cancer should not mean financial hardship but for many Australian women this is unfortunately the case.
For nearly 20 years BCNA has heard from women about the financial impact of their breast cancer diagnosis on them and their families. They have told us their out-of-pocket costs are sometimes significant, particularly for women who choose to have their treatment in the private health system using private health insurance.
To explore this issue BCNA commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to survey its members about the out-of-pocket costs of their breast cancer treatment and care, and other associated costs. The survey aimed to quantify the out-of-pocket costs faced by a woman in the first five years after a breast cancer diagnosis. Almost 2,000 survey responses were received.
Our report shows that there is a large disparity across the country in the out-of-pocket costs women face following a breast cancer diagnosis. While some women (12 per cent) reported no out-of-pocket costs, one quarter (25 per cent) of all women who completed our survey reported costs of more than $17,200.
Total costs for women with private health insurance are higher than for women without. One quarter of privately insured women reported out-of-pocket costs greater than $21,000.
These figures do not reflect any loss of income that a woman may have if she has to reduce work hours, or give up work altogether, during treatment and beyond. If lost income had been included these figures would have been higher.
We know breast cancer can push women, and their families, to the financial brink, leaving them reliant on financial assistance from family, friends and their communities. By shining a light on the financial impact of breast cancer this report shows us some practical ways that we can make a difference. BCNA will use this report to start conversations with governments, private health insurance companies, health professionals and other cancer organisations about ways we can work together to help reduce the financial impact of breast cancer.
f you have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s likely that this will dominate your thoughts and conversations over the next few weeks.
No matter how you’re feeling, try not to overwhelm yourself. Try to remember that most women survive breast cancer and that you are not alone.
If you are feeling like breast cancer is dominating your every thought, try some of the following strategies:
Can you believe we've been open for nearly a year already....Time Flies when you're doing what you love...helping people look great in their clothes again!!
In that time we've helped literally hundreds of ladies who've endured the horror of breast cancer and come through the other side.
Our goal has always been the same...to give our clients the best fitting experience you will ever have anywhere..period!!! Tracey, Jeanie, Kris and Mel wont be happy until you love your new look. To thank all of you beautiful ladies who've supported us while we've supported you, we're having a sale.
Week of November 6th, you can get 20% of all apparel. We giving away a gift with purchase and one lucky shopper will win a $100 gift voucher. As a bonus to the winner, Amoena and Tracey G will donate $500 to the local breast cancer charity of your choice....How great is that. Some Ts and Cs apply but we look forward to seeing you then.....
*Gift with purchase until stocks are exhausted #excludes breast forms, already discounted items and gift vouchers ^chosen charity must be a local breast cancer charity
For 28 years Beacon has co-constructed real-world education through partnerships we build between schools and industry. This includes curriculum, work readiness programs, work exposure opportunities, real-life industry projects and work pathways. eBeacon is an extension of this work, with the aim of reaching, connecting and inspiring more young people than ever before.
eBeacon has extended the potential reach of our work into every school in Australia.
eBeacon brings a wide range of resources from outside communities to students in schools. These resources make school engaging and relevant and prepare students to navigate the more complex careers of the future.
Click on the attached link and check out a wealth of information which has been developed from the Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit 2017.
Health professionals and service providers from across the globe have come together to share their experience of breast cancer specific rehabilitation and wellness strategies.
The presentations will guide and inspire you with solutions to the side effects people can experience after breast cancer.
Tracey G Prosthetics and Lingerie Auchenflower, and the Wesley Choices Cancer support centre are moving!!! As of next Thursday July 27th, we will be located on the grounds of the Wesley Hospital as per the attached map. Easy access and free parking via Dixon Street or Lang Parade. Call us on 0466 828 143 for more info. Thanks for your ongoing support.
Tracey and Jeanie.
All you ever needed or wanted to know about life after breast cancer...all in one place...all free!! We'll also be taking prosthesis bookings for the 12th and 13th in Dalby. Ring Tracey G on 0466 828 144 to book your fitting. Please register for the forum using the contact details on the flyer...look forward to seeing you in Dalby.
Tracey G is going bush! From the 28th of August till the 1st of September, Tracey will be available for prosthesis fittings in the following locations - Goondiwindi 28th-29th Aug, Weengallon 30th Aug for Pink Ladies Day, St George 31st Aug, Roma 1st Sept as well as Dalby on July 13th. Call Tracey on 0466 828144 to book your spot now. Look forward to seeing you then.
"Love what I do"