After going through cancer at just 17, today, Rosannagh recently graduated from her studies at Curtin University to become an occupational therapist and has put her hand up to be an Ambassador for SolarisCare’s Foundation Dry July campaign.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007 and received 6 months of chemo and radiotherapy for 6 months at the age of 17. That 6 months changed my life, however when reflecting on my cancer journey I can see many positives among the fatigue, nausea etc.. I believe this was because not only was my body being supported to defeat the disease (by being bombarded with drugs) but also my mind and body. Further, many people would know that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t just effect the person but also their support network including family and friends – it was a big relief for me knowing these important people in my life were also being supported through this time. All this support enabled me to get to a place where I was ok with my diagnosis so that my mind and body were fighting the disease together. However this is not easy and many people struggle everyday coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis and the treatment that often accompanies it and this is totally normal and that’s when SolarisCare becomes so important – they provide a place (that is often lost in big hospitals) that people can turn to and receive that support so that they too can be ‘ok’ with their diagnosis and have the best change at fighting the disease with their minds and body’s working together.
Participating in Dry July puts a cancer journey into perspective for many people…people find giving up alcohol for a month very challenging and that’s totally normal, it is definitely a part of the Australian culture and most people’s weekend rituals. However people going through cancer often are expected to change a lot more than just their alcohol habits and I think this challenge gives people a small taste of what that change means and how it feels.
That glass of wine, beer or cider (whatever your choice) is one of life’s luxuries and giving it up is a small commitment in comparison to the cancer journey millions of people are currently on. So please donate and support this fabulous cause.