Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Year

Well 2012 has finally dawned.  This year is going to be busy I expect.

The Court ASC is moving to a new home on the 9th January 2012 to Abraham Darby Swimming Pool.  Haven't seen it yet but heard a lot of things about it.

Also it is the Court ASC 40th Year.  So I expect some celebrations etc will be planned for this special year.

As it is the 2012 Olympics I expect I will be busy with various things that I am involved in.

So this year will start quietly and move up a gear over the coming months with meetings etc.

I also have to keep my finger on the pulse to ensure I keep funding going for Swimming After Surgery (SAS).  I Have the Pink Pool Night still up my sleeve once Wellington Swimming Pool finally reopens.  Apart from that the committee and I have to come up with other ideas to keep the momentum going to ensure the project is a success for the future.

I have lots of ideas but no money to sustain them at present.  Like tracksuits for the ladies with Swimming After Surgery (SAS) printed on the back.  We want these to be PINK so that they stand out from the crowd and as it is for breast cancer the colour has to be pink.  So that is something I am working on.

My Sundays will be busy too this year as the teaching schedule for The Court ASC has changed a lot.  So Monday evenings will be free of swimming and Sunday afternoons replace them.

I love challenges and I hope I can live up to my own expectations for this year.  My wonderful husband who supports me in everything I do says I push myself too hard.  I feel that I can never do enough to help those who are far worse off than me.

I feel for all those ladies who are worried about their implants.  They didn't just decide to have "boob jobs".  They were the ones diagnosed with breast cancer and have had no choice but to have reconstruction with these implants.  Many doctors insist that ladies facing mastectomies get referred for reconstruction.  I fought this protocol so hard as I was under 40.  I had to agree to three months of counselling to prove I was making an informed choice and was of sound mind to do so.  I will never ever forget the look of victory on my face when the consultant finally agreed to what I wanted.

I am one of the lucky ones I am happy with the way I am, scars and all.  My prothesis are heavy and are uncomfortable.  More often than not I don't bother wearing one.  No one notices as I am smiling most of the time.  It is only when we get on the subject of breast cancer that it gets noticed.  Some say I am brave.  I am not.  I am just me and happy with the way I am.  Seven breast operations on the one side was enough for me.  To have to face another for a reconstruction was more than I could bear.  So there you have it I am a coward and couldn't face any more operations on that side. 

It is knowing what these ladies are going through and are trying to come out the other side of that inspires me to keep Swimming After Surgery (SAS) going.  They need a stepping stone to move forward and this is it. 

Imagine losing part of your body and attempting to put a swimming costume on to face a general swimming session.  Could you do it?

It took me six months of courage and a telephone call to make it. 

Swimming After Surgery (SAS) offers a helping hand and support every step of the way to help point you in the right direction of choosing a swimming costume to eventually plucking up the courage to enter the swimming pool environment.  I know it will take many women a very long time to even get to this point. 

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy have to be over and permission has to be granted from their consultants, breast care nurses or GP before they can even attempt this journey.

Many will want to do it straight away but the time has to be right for them.

Setting something like Swimming After Surgery (SAS) up has taken time, energy and effort but I love every minute of it.  Seeing the women smiling in the water is what keeps me going.

Knowing that I am happier in the water than out of it also helps me too.  I love my life and couldn't be happier despite all the operations, scars and everything else I have gone through this is what I am here for.

Helping women overcome breast cancer surgery and to see them smile and grow in confidence so that they too can get their lives back to some sort of normality.

My life will never be normal but I love the challenges it offers me and I know this year will not be any different.  Bring them on.

Happy New Year one and all.  Best wishes