“I made a decision early on that I was not going to mourn something that’s trying to kill me.”
Ulladulla’s Renee Effield, 45, is currently undergoing treatment for stage three breast cancer.
The married mother of three discovered a cherry-sized lump on her left-side in late June. She was consequently diagnosed with the disease of which more than 3,000 Australian women will lose their life to this year.
Following her mastectomy in August and two months of the “hardcore” chemotherapy, Mrs Effield said she has learned she will also need surgery to remove a lymph node the cancer had attached itself too.
Mrs Effield spoke to The Times to help raise awareness of self diagnosis.
“It was a fluke, the way I was drying myself after a shower,” she said.
Her chance discovery came almost 14 months after she had a mammogram in May, 2017.
Mrs Effield was given the “all clear”, but just over a year later she became the first person in her family to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Don’t take the risk, if you think there’s an issue get it checked,” she said.
Mrs Effield is taking time away from her long-term workplace at Capital Chemist, Ulladulla.
While her friendly face and chirpy demeanor is missed by colleagues and customers alike, one work mate has offered to shave her hair in support of Mrs Effield’s ongoing treatment.
Pieta Newport aimed to raise $1,000, to be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to stop deaths from breast cancer by 2030 and provide a better quality of life for all those impacted.
Mrs Newport said she has reached her goal, with more than $650 raised online and hundreds raised in store. She will continue to fund-raise until the shave in-store on Tuesday, December 18.
“I asked Renee if it was cool and she said ‘of course,” Mrs Newport said.
“I wanted to do it specifically for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, as all money goes into research for a cure.
“Customers see the tins in store and will ask nicely, to make sure Renee is doing OK.”
To donate visit https://nbcf-hostyourown.gofundraise.com.au/page/PietaNewport.