WANGARATTA nurse Yvonne Richards knows first-hand the quality of cancer treatment in the country.
Her biggest hurdle came later when seeking information about breast reconstruction.
The Northeast Health Wangaratta registered nurse recently finished treatment for breast cancer and is now going through the process of reconstruction.
Mrs Richards said while she was well supported through her treatment, up-to-date information and support about reconstruction was harder to find.
“I approached my diagnosis of breast cancer with a positive mindset, dividing my treatment into boxes,” she said.
“First surgery, followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the final box being breast reconstruction.
“As a country woman I felt I needed more information regarding reconstruction in order to make an informed decision about the various choices available.”
Mrs Richards said by chance she discovered Reclaim Your Curves, a national consumer organisation supporting women facing mastectomy.
It was established to provide easy to understand information on the reconstruction options in Australia and to offer support for women going through that process.
“I was very fortunate to stumble upon an amazing group of women called Reclaim Your Curves, who were able to not only give me the latest information about what was available, but their support helped me to work through the mountain of decisions that needed to be made,” Mrs Richards said.
Passionate about supporting country women in their breast cancer and reconstruction journey, Mrs Richards is launching a Wangaratta group to help educate women about their post-mastectomy reconstruction options.
As a new ambassador for Reclaim Your Curves at Wangaratta, Mrs Richards will host bi-monthly support group lunches in 2017.
The first lunch will be held at the Muddy Waters Cafe at Wangaratta on February 19, from noon.
The informal gatherings offer women a chance to talk with others who have had a breast cancer diagnosis and to make new friendships.
To book for February’s lunch or to find out more about the support group phone Yvonne on 0417 320 950 or visit www.reclaimyourcurves.org.au/wangaratta-vic.