Breast Foot Forward…

As you know, my beautiful mum battled breast cancer last year. I’m so pleased to say that she is a survivor and we’re enjoying watching her recover and go from strength to strength.

Mum

The journey of watching someone you love so dearly battle such a horrible disease is to put it mildly – traumatising. The disease itself is horrible, but the treatment is almost worse than the disease. It’s crazy that you have to almost kill someone to get them better again, and those are the lucky ones.

Cancer has touched my life in so many ways, I myself was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer at the age of 29. I had many operations to remove the disease, and was one of the lucky ones who found it in it’s early stages and did not require chemotherapy or radiation.  My paternal grandmother (who is now 91) also had breast cancer many years ago and I remember as a teenager,  after her mastectomy when she came home with her prosthesis -the hilarity that she preferred to carry her prosthetic breast in a bag rather than wear it! “It’s just too heavy & annoying” she’d say.  Those were the days when prosthesis were cumbersome and heavy, these days technology has made it possible to wear incredible prosthesis that are comfortable, light and more realistic.

Presently I have three gorgeous women around me who are battling cancer. One of my dearest friends in Holland has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The shock of this news is still ringing in my ears. Roelien and I met when I was an exchange student in The Netherlands in 1987-1988. She was my best friend during my school exchange year and we had lots of fun times together. I’ve visited Holland many times over the past 26 years since, and each time we spend time together, sometimes going away for a few days and visiting other cities in Europe. She is so much a part of my other “Home” and the news that I likely won’t see her again is simply devastating. She is very brave and is fighting hard, and I’m so grateful that technology now allows us to “see” each other via Skype.  Two other friends are battling breast cancer, both have had their surgeries and are about to embark on their chemotherapy treatment journey.

All of these women are beautiful, gorgeous, positive, independent women who live full lives, they are all under 50 – how can this be?

Of course, I am grateful that we have amazing medical treatment and multi-discipline teams to help them through their battle. But I find myself sitting feeling so helpless and wanting to do something to help.

What can I do to help?

    • I can raise awareness by getting the message to as many women as possible
    • I can raise funds to support research into cancer
    • I can be there to support my friends to the best of my ability

A few weeks ago I opened my local newspaper and saw a photo and editorial about one of my customers, Lisa. Lisa’s mum Corinne had a battle with cancer. I was very happy to hear that Corinne has been given the all clear! Lisa and her mum Corinne, together with some friends Kath, Sharon, Tasha & Mark, have created a team working together to raise funds for the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute.

LisasTeam

Their challenge is to compete in The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers which is a 2-day, 60 kilometre walk through the neighbourhoods of Melbourne – what a challenge!

LisaGarland

Lisa says “My commitment is based on love for my fellow sisters, mothers, grandmas,
daughters, nieces, and friends everywhere. It’s based on the realisation that we each need to do our part in this fight. I can walk. I can raise  funds to benefit Peter Mac and their efforts to end women’s cancers. I can and choose to be a part of this movement to take down women’s cancers! I ask you to take a stance with me and join this life-saving adventure for all women. Be a part of my very personal journey – by giving, by walking with me, or simply by sharing my story with your circle of influence. Don’t stand back and think about what you could have done – take that first step today! Take a chance with me – we have the opportunity to change thousands of lives, beginning with our own. This isn’t just my journey – it’s yours, too”.

Lisa, I support you, your mum Corinne and the rest of the team wholeheartedly! Please dig deep and donate to this worthy cause. You can donate by clicking this link.

My knee injury won’t allow me to walk so far in two days. Lisa lives locally to me so I have pledged to support her by walking with her during her training, and helping her spread the word.

I’ve also pledged to donate $1 from every copy of my Curvy Girl’s Guide to Shopping to the Cancer Council of Australia.

Donation

Ladies, remember prevention is the best weapon we have.

BOOK NOW for your Breastscreen – it’s free! And don’t forget to regularly check your breasts. If you’re not sure here’s a great illustration of how to do it yourself.

breastscreen

REGISTER NOW for Cervical Screening Register. Your doctor can also sign you up to the register. It’s a fantastic service that ensures you receive a reminder and keeps a record of your results. Remember, this regular test could save your life.

Look after you, and those around you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

One year on… The Plus Side of Quitting

Ever noticed how life just whizzes by sometimes. Since going live with my new website on the 19th April, I’ve been inundated with well wishers, shop & style bookings and so much more. My wholesale Fashion Agent work has been busy with the release of the new season 17 Sundays samples and I’ve been on the road enjoying visiting stores around Victoria.

Today I realised that yesterday was a very special day. It is ONE YEAR since I quit smoking!

Now I’ve never called myself a quitter before, but I’m proud to say I AM A QUITTER and I’ve stayed a quitter for 365 days straight – cold turkey! What a challenge. This past year included my beautiful dad passing away suddenly in June 2011, to say I’m still shocked is an understatement. Then about three weeks later I became very ill and have been battling a health condition ever since. Not exactly the easiest time in my life to decide to give up a 22 year old habit!

I DID, and I did it successfully. I invite you to re-visit that time in my life by reading my blog The Plus Side of Quitting, written daily at the time for the first 16 days of my journey.

Today is day 366 of being a non-smoker, I’ve NOT smoked 10,950 cigarettes and I haven’t spent $4,368 during that time! AND I feel better for it. Now that’s alot of pluses!

I’m sharing this with you all as part of my committment to remain accountable to myself for my personal and emotional wellbeing.

My advice to anyone out there considering quitting smoking, do it when YOU are ready. I agree with the philosophy that the QUIT campaign tout, don’t give up trying to give up. This is about the fourth attempt I made to quit, the other times failed, but this one worked. No rhyme or reason, I was just more ready this time. NEVER give up trying to give up.

I’m off to revamp my wardrobe ready for the new season.  Stay tuned for some fashion posts coming your way soon. In the meantime, if you have a question on anything curvy/plus-size – email me janine@janinemison.com.au or post a comment by clicking on the speach bubble on the top right of this post and I’ll make a point of including the answers in my upcoming posts.  I’m loving this new space and it’s just the beginning…

Love your shape!

Janine x

P.S. Don’t forget to join the NEW facebook page here