Relay For Life face had an 'easy' cancer battle
HELEN Mann feels like a fraud when she talks about her cancer.
The breast cancer survivor feels that compared to others her cancer has been "easy”.
Ms Mann is one of the faces for Relay for Life in Gladstone.
The event, which raises funds for Cancer Council Queensland, runs overnight on Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28, at Chanel College in West Gladstone.
Ms Mann is one of many people who use Cancer Council facilities during their treatment.
She was diagnosed with stage three invasive breast cancer in January 2017 after she had missed a mammogram in July the year prior.
With no family history of the illness Mrs Mann said she was "gob-smacked” when she received the diagnosis.
"I was very fit, very active and very conscious of what I ate,” she said.
"I wasn't frightened of dying, it was the living that was the difficult bit.”
Due to medical complications she had to be flown down to Brisbane to have surgery. She had 24 lymph nodes removed before she came home in March and started chemotherapy in April until November then had radiation in Brisbane for six weeks.
She said she felt the impact on her mental health was the hardest part of battling cancer.
"I was always mindful that I was retired, it's just my husband and I at home,” she said.
"I didn't have a job, I wasn't young and had little kids to look after, I wasn't isolated and had to come all the way from my family and friends.
"That's part of the reason I feel so lucky, the fact it was picked up when it was and I had excellent care.”
While in Brisbane she stayed in accommodation funded by the cancer council.
"We'd previously supported them financial, so being able to use it was lovely,” she said.
For Mrs Mann it was more than just a place to stay, it was a whole community of support.
"I was there over New Year's and they put a big effort into making people feel less lonely,” she said.
"It was just like being in a family, there were people waving at you which was lovely.
"It's not a home away from home but it's the closest thing you can get.”
RELAY FOR LIFE
When: July 27-28
Where: Chanel College,
11 Paterson St, West Gladstone