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As part of my new role with RAFT, I felt very privileged to be invited to a lunch at the House of Lords in aid of their Life After Breast Cancer Fund. The target for the fund is to raise £2 million in 2 years.

I have never been to the House of Lords so was extremely excited and I felt honored that I had been included, especially as I haven’t yet officially started with RAFT. However, for me, the people that I met soon overshadowed the novelty of visiting the House of Lords.

I had the opportunity to talk to people who were keen supporters and donors of Raft, each for their own personal reasons.  The enthusiasm, positivity and energy in the room with everyone keen to make a difference was amazing.

Some of the people I spoke to had in fact survived cancer and spoke freely about it. I thought to myself that many years ago this would have been a totally taboo subject, especially in a room with both men and women present.   I feel that by sharing it is helping raise awareness and to build up a network and community of people who have experienced breast cancer or in fact any other cancers.

It has long been thought that a positive mental attitude can help with recovery but I know from friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer that it can sometimes be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude especially during times of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and of course the tiredness and hair loss that can follow.

I have been amazed at some of my friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have been successfully treated and then get on with their lives. One thing for certain; they all live life more fully than they did before, grasping every opportunity that comes their way.

However, if a mastectomy is required, whilst it can represent the chance of life and a way to beat or prevent breast cancer it doesn’t always signify the end of surgery. Breast reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy is a major step in regaining quality of life and confidence. However, current surgical methods can involve multiple operations and they do not always achieve the desired result.

Rather interestingly, the surgical outcome is one reason why fewer than 50% of women who undergo a mastectomy choose not to have reconstructive surgery. It is hoped that RAFT’s Life After Breast Cancer Fund will change the future of breast reconstruction and they are funding two research projects which will mean that women will spend less time in hospital, experience less pain and discomfort, fewer operations, less scarring and numbness, vastly reduced risk of tissue rejection and they will experience reduced psychological impact. This in turn will mean that women will be able to focus on rebuilding their lives.

If any of my readers who have been affected by breast cancer would like to share their experience it would be lovely to hear from you.

Equally, if anyone is interested about the research that RAFT is doing and would like to find out more or even raise money for the research please visit www.lifeafterbreastcancerfund.org.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week full of positivity, happiness and love.

 

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