My story begins with everyone's worst nightmare. Following a wonderful career as a social worker, I was ready to move into a new and exciting phase of my life: retire from my job, travel the world with my husband, enjoy new experiences, and relish time spent with children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, "life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."
After a bout of severe vomiting following a few bites of food, she went to the ER and refused to leave until she got answers. She knew in her heart something was seriously wrong. After a series of tests, a gynaecologist arrived to break the news. It was indeed ovarian cancer. In fact, a tumour the size of a grapefruit was removed from her body.
We've all heard the saying "It's like herding cats." As challenging as that might be, it's not much more difficult than building consensus with a global committee: everyone has a different view, and often a territorial approach to meetings. In fact, while herding cats is tough, creating a brand change in corporations may be even tougher.
Being a cancer survivor for over five years now has significantly changed my perspective on life. I don't get stressed as much with situations, even serious ones such as this one, that are out of my control. The former me would probably have crawled under a rock with a blanket by now, a pair of earplugs firmly ensconced in her ears, and a thumb in her mouth.
I will never forget the look of calm determination in my mother's eyes when she and my father sat down with our family to tell us the horrible news. "Mummy had been diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer." Since she passed away in 2010, our charity F*CK CANCER inwykiwyk, has raised money for research and created community in her honour.