After her own diagnosis in 2017, Rosemarie is wearing it pink for anyone who had been affected by breast cancer.
With all that has happened, I am humbled, grateful to be here and cancer free. The last two and a half years have changed me
After initially ignoring a lump I first noticed in July I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in September 2017. Later in November, it was discovered I was a carrier of the mutated gene BRCA2. I was told my type of cancer was aggressive so I stepped in the ring and began my fight. I had many things working for me. God, my family, friends, my medical team and the power of positivity.
I am not going to lie - it was not easy
You deal with a range of emotions and half the time they are not even yours! The first bit of physical pain I felt was my first day of chemotherapy.
Before my second round of chemo, I had asked my eldest daughter to cut my hair short. A few days later, in the morning I caught a glimpse of myself as walked past the mirror. To my despair, I saw that my hair had begun to fall out leaving bald patches. I looked shockingly ill. I just cried for myself. That was another first.
I soon learnt that this process would rely on me repeatedly pulling myself back up and pushing through.
A breakthrough moment was when a friend gave me a book called The Power. I took from it the need for recognising reasons for gratitude and the power of positivity. Each morning I would remind myself of something to be grateful for which in turn manifested a positive attitude within me.
During my six months of chemo, I would send out a weekly update as a broadcast to a group of close family and friends. Responses I received lifted me, pushed me forward, made me realise this was not my end; it was just something I had to go through. My motto was always, "I've got this!"
My active treatment included chemotherapy; a double mastectomy with reconstruction; radiotherapy and removal of my ovaries. Due to complications with one breast in December 2018, I underwent another unplanned surgery in January 2019 with the possibility of further surgery looming.
With all that has happened, I am humbled, grateful to be here and cancer free. With a smile on my face I can now say, "I had that!"
It was fantastic to take part in the wear it pink campaign and photoshoot
Last year, I along with a colleague of mine obtained a pack from the 2019 Wear it Pink Campaign. On the day, staff at the school I work in all wore something pink to work. We decorated the staff room, played games, and generally used the resources which came in the pack. The conversation had begun; we got everyone talking including children and parents. I think it’s so important that people wear pink in October to continue to raise awareness. Cancer is not going away, but we must equip scientists and ourselves with the knowledge to stay in control and survive.
I want to do this for those who have been personally touched or know someone who has been touched by this disease.