20 Oct WHAT OCTOBER MEANS TO ME
WHAT OCTOBER MEANS TO ME
WORDS BY LISA POULOS
Everything is pink there are pink ribbons, pink lids on water bottles, pink Tim Tams™ and pink events going on all over Australia. I’m quietly proud of how people come together to pitch in and to help raise money to support research.
It’s also a time that reminds us to stop and consider those people who are fighting and those who have bravely fought breast cancer.
Yep, for those that don’t know, I stop and reflect as I was one of those people and I am so relieved to say that I am still here and am fighting fit.
Each October I am reminded of that time in my life, the fear, the hard fight and the roller coaster of events that have changed my life forever. I am blessed to be one of the lucky ones, so for me, it’s a time to give back, however I can.
This year I was invited to speak at the Shire Pink Lunch a fund raising function organised by two lovely ladies Mia Cassin and Mara Martinic.
The lunch reminded me of just how especially important community spirit is for us all and how getting involved with your community is good for your soul. By bringing people together we feel love, connection and a sense of belonging to something bigger than just ourselves, and for those not involved it lifts them as well. Just doing something, get involved, anything, will make a difference.
The energy of Mia and Mara brought a community together. There was so much love, passion and glamour in the room supporting this very special cause. It made me feel warm inside to see and to share in the kindness and support that through their efforts created for the community. I feel honoured to have spoken at this event and to share my story. The response I received to my story from the guests was overwhelming and did more than just put a smile on my face, I felt happy.
The warmth and generosity of the guests’ response reminded me of my community when I became ill. My mum and dad, brother and gorgeous sister-in-law, my dearest friends all created what I called my A-TEAM. With my A-team standing by my side, every step of the way, it was hard not to feel their love and kindness and always much needed support. Without my A-Team, I’m not sure if I would have had the same outcome. I never had to ask; they all just knew when to be there and what to do.
I’m sure the abundance of kindness I received provided a large part of the inner strength allowing me to heal. I’m not sure if any of my A-Team as individuals will ever realise how important each and every one of them are to me, and how grateful I feel to have them in my life.
You see it’s not a matter of believing, for me it is knowing – having a community that cares is immeasurably valuable.
When speaking at The Pink Shire Lunch I shared the ten important things I found out from my cancer journey:
- I learnt that part of my survival was the amount of love and kindness I received – I had an abundance thrown at me. My parents, children, brother, sister-in-law and all my friends and strangers who just wanted to show they cared.
- I realised how lucky I was to have doctors and hospitals, nurses to take care of me.
- I learnt not to focus on the negative things that were happening to me, but find the good things and focus on those.
- I realised Cancer Is really random – it can happen to anyone.
- I learnt that I was stronger than I knew.
- I learnt to ask questions and question everything – and to trust my instincts.
- It’s OK to get angry – but get over it quickly.
- I learnt it is OK to stop and let go.
- I learnt the importance to LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE all the time.
- Lastly, I learnt, he who has health has HOPE, and he who has HOPE has everything.