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World Cancer Day - Why We're Talking About It

January 28, 2021

Today at Twosisters The Label, we’re talking about something a little more serious than dresses and the perfect outfit. Today, we’re talking about the ‘C’ word that no one ever wants to hear – cancer.

According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, approximately 150, 000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer each year. By the age of 85, one in two Australian men and women will be diagnosed with cancer.

We sell dresses though, so why are we talking about this?

In 2019, our social media manager, Kim, lost her godmother to cancer.

As a team, we witnessed her grief firsthand as she dealt with the shock and sadness that came with losing someone you love.

We listened when she needed to talk through her worries and concerns, we hugged her when there were tears and today, we want to give, because we recognise that together, all our actions – big and small – will make lasting, positive change.

So, from the 28th of January – 3rd of February 2021, Twosisters The Label will be donating $1 from every website sale to the Cancer Council.

Additionally, Kim shares how she felt best supported by her family and friends through the process, so that if you ever find yourself in her shoes (although we sincerely hope not!), or know someone who is going through this, you may find ways to give and/or look for support below.

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It (but don’t let it be the only thing you talk about!)

I was so lucky to have a support system who weren’t afraid to check in with me regularly to ask how my godmother was doing and how I was feeling.

It was great that people didn’t feel like they had to tiptoe around the subject with me because asking me about it also gave me the chance to talk about it.

At the same time though, don’t feel like it’s the only thing you can talk about!

A lot of the time, we just want (and hope for) life to go back to normal, so talk to us about stuff that we’d normally talk about too.

There’s Nothing You Can Do To Make It Better, but Reach Out Anyway

A lot of the time, you feel helpless over the whole situation.

I felt helpless because I couldn’t do anything to help my godmother.

My husband felt helpless because he couldn’t do anything to alleviate my worries.

My colleagues felt helpless because they couldn’t stop me from crying in the middle of a workday.

So, understand that most of the time, there’s nothing you can do, but reach out anyway, because knowing that someone is there for you makes it just a little better.

Listen

Sometimes, I just wanted to talk about my godmother. I wanted to tell people how strong and brave she was being through her treatment. I wanted to show off how good she looked at Christmas, despite being so sick. After she passed, I just wanted to talk about her, to share my favourite memories of her and tell people how much I loved her.

It was extremely therapeutic to have friends who willingly listened when I spoke about her, worried about her or shared a funny story about her.

So, just listen. Listen even if it isn’t important to you, listen even if you’ve heard the same story 10 times already. You don’t have to respond, you just have to listen.

Don’t Overwhelm Us with Information

Whenever I shared with someone that my godmother had cancer, I’d always be inundated with a flurry of information about a ground-breaking treatment they had read about, or something that worked for their friend’s cousin’s uncle.

It was incredibly overwhelming.

If you know someone who has cancer or someone who has a family/friend with cancer, please resist the urge to share medical/personal advice unless it’s been explicitly asked of you. Chances are, they already have a team of doctors who have a treatment plan for them and the last thing they need is an overwhelming amount of additional information (or worse, false hope).

Be Understanding of Their Time

If you’re going to visit someone who is suffering from cancer, be considerate of the time you’re spending with them. Depending on the treatment they’re having, they might not be feeling like their normal self and will need time to rest.

Be considerate as well of the time they have with their family. If someone is terminally ill, remember that they are on borrowed time, so stay for 30 minutes, not 3 hours.

If you're going through this, my heart is with you and I hope you've found something useful from this post. For additional information on how you can contribute towards World Cancer Day or resources for additional support, please visit: https://www.cancer.org.au/

Check back here on the 4th of February 2021 for an update on our contribution to the Cancer Council SA.