Copper Patchwork

How would you describe your initial reactions and feelings when you first received your breast cancer diagnosis?

Completely devastated

What aspects of your individuality do you feel have been most challenged, changed or strengthened by this experience?

I was lucky enough to attend a couple of amazing retreats at the Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre in Bristol (sadly no longer running retreats.)The work they do there looks at the whole patient – mind, body, spirit and emotion – the work made me realise that I have some control and agency in this awful situation.

Are there specific moments or experiences in your cancer journey that stand out to you, which you would like depicted in the sculpture?

Despite an absolutely horrific reconstruction failure in 2014, followed by a further reconstruction in 2016 – I finally feel good about myself. 

How has your perspective on life and your own identity evolved since your diagnosis?

Eternally optimistic – no time to dwell too much on unhelpful l thoughts and much better at calming techniques.

In what ways do you feel bravery has played a role in your cancer journey? Are there particular instances of courage that you’d like represented?

It has been a lonely experience – getting comfortable with your own thoughts and fears and facing the real possibility of death –  feeling terrible at the thought of leaving my children without their mother. Being practical about making plans like doing a WILL. 

How do you want the world to see you through this sculpture? What part of your reality, character, or experience would you like it to emphasise?

A happy, optimistic person. I still have monthly chemo (been on monthly treatment continuously since 2012) 

What has been your source of strength and resilience throughout your journey with breast cancer?

The goal of surviving long enough to see all three of my children reach adulthood – now accomplished happily 😊

What does being a part of this exhibition mean to you? How do you hope it might impact others who see your sculpture?

Even when things go drastically wrong – have hope it will eventually get better ❤️‍🩹 

Is there a specific message or emotion you want to convey to the audience of this exhibition, particularly to those who might be going through a similar experience?

Love your beautiful body

How has the ABC community helped you with your journey? 

ABC were crucial for me at the beginning – the support and care was amazing.

Touch, Look, Check (TLC)

Give your boobs some TLC to look for early signs of breast cancer.