Fighting cancer with determination and sparkle
A routine self-examine breast check brought to light what would eventually be diagnosed as Stage 3 breast cancer for Canterbury local Tiffany Bowley. From the day of the initial mammogram, the St George’s Cancer Care team sprang into action providing a supportive pathway forward. “Everyone at St George’s Cancer Care has been so compassionate, I can’t thank them enough. I’ve felt so well cared for throughout the process,” Tiffany says.
With nearly six months of chemotherapy completed, Tiffany will undergo breast surgery and then a course of radiation treatment, which will hopefully finish in time for Christmas. Tiffany’s outlook on her diagnosis, treatment and all the related challenges is truly noteworthy. Dressing up for her treatments has added a sense of fun to the process. “Who’s going to be the best dressed kid at chemo? Who says you can’t have fun with your illness?,” she says.
Additional services that she has received at the Centre have contributed to her positive mindset and treatment. Among these are dietetics advice, psychological support and lifestyle/fitness guidance. “Julie, my Dietitian, helped me work out how I can indulge in my favourite foods, such as oysters, whilst still being cancer safe.” Julie Beadel is the Registered Dietitian at St George’s Cancer Care who has been working with Tiffany since her diagnosis. “Having good nutritional status positively supports and influences cancer treatment and helps patients feel good. I work with each patient and their unique requirements to create a plan that provides optimal nutrition digestion and absorption.”
Tiffany’s Oncologist and nursing team have also provided proactive care and support and encouraged her to bring her sense of fun to the Centre. A Radiation Oncologist talked her through the radiation treatment from a technical perspective, helping dispel her fears about this step in the treatment pathway.
Viv Ali, St George’s Cancer Care Practice Manager, says it’s all about understanding what matters to the patient and supporting this wherever possible. “Our expert and empathetic team works hard to provide the best possible outcomes for each individual patient. We are passionate about investing in educational and technology advances for the betterment of anyone who is affected by cancer.”