When you are living on limited time there is a really strong urge to look inwards and just focus on yourself. . . .But the more I learnt about my cancer, the more I realised I couldn’t do nothing. The treatment I take belongs to a class of drugs approved for breast cancer 43 years ago. For forty years it was sitting on a shelf but no one knew it could help women with my cancer because the research wasn’t funded. This isn’t just about me, though yes I really want more time because I don’t have enough. But it’s also about the women who aren’t here to use their voices, and the women who will sit in that doctors office in ten, and fifty years time. And whether they get told you’ll likely die, and I know how awful that is to hear, or if their doctor will be able say we can get you through this. I can’t do this on my own but together we can
These were my daughter’s words in conversation with Jim Mora yesterday.
Jane has low grade serous ovarian cancer.
She was told, when she was diagnosed, that her likely life expectancy was five to 15 years.
That was three and a half years ago. A young woman diagnosed at a similar time with a similar stage of the disease died earlier this year.
Given her prognosis, Jane could be focusing only on herself. Instead she’s fighting not just for herself but for all the other women who have, or will get, this dreadful disease.
You can help her by signing the petition.
It is non-partisan. This isn’t about politics, it’s about women’s health and lives. The four gynaecological cancer organisations behind it have worked across parliament to get cross-party support.
You don’t have to be in New Zealand, or be a New Zealander to sign.
The other way to help is by donating to Cure Our Ovarian Cancer.
To mark Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, Jane has launched a Step Up challenge.
I’ve joined it and will be walking the Millenium Track from Wanaka to Glendhu Bay and back (it took about six hours last time I did it). You can donate here .
If you want to go further, you can join the campaign and Step Up yourself.
A Canadian is cycling 1000km, a kiwi is climbing a small mountain, an Australian is running his own race for an hour – as far as he can go, a woman from the UK is going for an 8000 step stroll, and an American is dedicating her birthday. It’s completely up to you.
But if you’re stuck for ideas:
- Choose an activity – walk, run, cycle (or something else!)
- Measure your activity – in time, or steps or distance or destination
- Decide if you’re going to do it one day, some days or every day in September
- And remember – it’s not what you do, but why that matters the most. You’ll be helping fund crucial research to help women live longer.
Jane’s personal blog is janehascancer.com
You can catch up with her in the media here.
I wrote about living under the cancer sword here.