What happens when you are diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28? You reflect on your life, consider what is important and then you pivot. You pursue a path that you find meaningful and fulfilling.
This is what happened to my guest today, Paula G.
Paula had a secure high flying corporate job. However, a breast cancer diagnosis made her realise that perhaps what she was doing wasn’t enough. She wanted to make an impact on people’s lives and be the difference.
So, she quit her prestigious job with all the trapping that came with it, and became a student again. She completed her degree in counselling psychology and is now busy studying for her PhD. Her research is in the area of psycho-oncology, which looks at the psychological, social, behavioural and ethical aspects of cancer. In Paula’s case, her passion to make an impact in the breast cancer arena is what motivates her.
When Paula was diagnosed with her breast cancer, she decided to have her treatment back in her home town in Poland. This was born out of need and circumstance as at that time she was living alone, with little or no support. However, returning back to the place she grew up brought with it some unexpected challenges and difficulties. Despite this, she completed her breast cancer treatment which included a mastectomy with reconstruction and chemotherapy.
Paula’s breast cancer diagnosis had a huge impact on her life. Meeting her consultant breast cancer surgeon inspired her to do something different with her life. In this episode she shares that story.
At the moment, Paula is completing her PhD thesis. Her current research project is looking at the effect of breast cancer treatment, not only on those who have had treatment i.e the patients, but also on those who are involved in treating the disease i.e the surgeons. Paula shares some of the common themes she has learnt from interviewing patients and surgeons in this episode and it was fascinating.
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Do you want to learn more about the benefits of exercise and breast cancer? If you want more information on how it can combat fatigue, boost immunity and help with lymphoedema, then listen here and enjoy my conversation with Tom Cowan.
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