It was a pleasure to go the Hornsby Memorial Hall yesterday as part of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. This is run by the cancer council as part of raising awareness of cancer in Australia but also for raising funds to support research and patient services. The audience were treated to wonderful food from pies to pizza and the amazing dessert of scones with cream and jam. They were sickly rich and I couldn’t stomach more than 1! The highlight, however, was the keynote speech from a cancer survivor who now works for the cancer council. She gave great insight and also tips for starting that conversation.
To summarise, 1: if you get a screening notice, please go and get screened, as an early cancer diagnosis increases your chances of survival.
2: when talking to someone going through treatment or just received a diagnosis, offering concrete ideas to help. Such as, do you want me to cook dinner for you one night? Or do you want me to drive you to your appointments?
3: and don’t laugh at this, but we were advised, if you are trying to be empathetic to someone living with cancer, do NOT say “I knew someone who had cancer, they died.” We were advised in this speech this happens a lot, so please just leave out the ‘they died’ part as that isn’t comforting at all.
I hope sharing those tips from the speech helps you at there. We have an amazing supportive community, so know that you are not alone and there are many support services out there. (Even when typing this post, I was talking to a gentleman about the tips above. Spreading that around could mean one day someone could use those tips to help someone.)
As an aside: I normally don’t like having so many photos of me so hope you can see I’m a real candidate! And I got another taste of being a man of my word. There was a raffle at the end of the day with about 15 prizes listed. I mentioned to my partner and to the rest of the table, if I won the tea prize I would give it to my sister. Would you believe it… that was the one prize I won! Followed through last night delivering it to my sister 🙂 as I say to everyone I’ve met on the campaign trail, I aim to be a man of my word and if I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. I have a list of commitments from this election that I look forward to completing and will keep everyone posted when I do.
Disclosure: I am not endorsed nor associated with the Cancer Council.