IBC in Australia

A package came in the mail today from Australia.  It was filled with Cadbury chocolates with pictures of wallabys and kangaroos and wombats (I think) and an animal I swear I’ve never seen before but might fit in over at Jean’s house; a bag of Cherry Ripe chocolates (OMG, I’m so sharing these with TheDCMoms the next time we’re together — well, what’s left); vegemite (Kate! What do I do with this? toast?); a book for the kids (Diary of a Wombat! I’m going to read that to the kids right now!  Okay, I’m back.); a book for me by Caroline Roessler, the  editor of Notebook: magazine; and a 2011 calendar diary that is so relaxing and hopeful, useful for making plans.  Which I’m doing now, baby!

AND two copies of the October 2010 Notebook magazine, with a full-page article about IBC!  In my words!  The author, Donna Reeves, excerpted my blog posts to tell my story, and I really like the way it came out.  There was also a sidebar with symptoms of IBC (YAY!) and an additional reference to the story in a later blurb on Breast Cancer Awareness Month: “While most women know to do regular breast checks, there is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that does not present as a lump, called inflammatory breast cancer.  It affects around one to two percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer each year.  See page 76 for more.”

The one to two percent reminds me why we still struggle to get the word out, particularly in countries with fewer overall cases of breast cancer (in number, not necessarily percentage).  Since 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer this year, only a couple hundred will have IBC.  How difficult must it be to ensure that all the GP’s are aware of such a fast-moving and terrible — yet rare — disease when only a hundred or two people nationwide are diagnosed?

Although Notebook: magazine has since folded, I’m so happy for our story to have been featured with a list of symptoms and encouragement for breast self-exams.  Thank you, Donna, for contacting me and making this happen.


12 Responses to IBC in Australia

  1. ohgrammy says:

    Good publicity, a new book, AND chocolate??? It can’t get any better than that!

  2. Can I tell you how much I love hearing you this pumped up?!

    And all those goodies!!! No one deserves them more!!!

  3. That is such fantastic news! There’s a blog about IBC originating out of New Zealand as well, called Get Out Gertrude.
    I love how you’re getting the word out, and this is a fantastic site.


  4. Vegemite! Yay! Spread it *thinly* on buttered toast. It is not sweet, it is salty. (I have found that Americans who disliked it instantly hadn’t been warned of that in advance, were expecting sweet and got a shock).
    Diary of a Wombat is a wonderful book, we have it here (from an Australian uncle).
    Post a photo of your unidentified animal and we will tell you – I’m betting it’s a bilby, does it have oddly large ears?
    And cherry ripes! YUM! I got told off for giving a US friend some once, she claimed they were instantly addictive and I had set her up for a lifetime of cravings 🙂
    Of course the *best* news of all is how your words are changing lives around the world. Congratulations.

  5. Sylvia says:

    My sister was diagnosed with IBC, mostly all people diagnosed with IBC are already stage 4. Very Very Scary. We have been blessed, my sister is still with us today and still fighting. It has been 6yrs for her and she is still fighting and going strong. So, god forbid anyone is diagnosed with IBC, you can still go on, just fight.

  6. Stimey says:

    That’s so awesome. Your words have traveled far. Amazing!!

    My mom gave us Diary of a Wombat and it is one of our favorites. I personally find it hysterical.

    Also, for just a second, I read that line about the unidentified animal as a real animal and I was all, “No, no, don’t bring it here! Well, okay, bring it here.” Then my critical thinking skills kicked in.

    • whymommy says:

      Ah, but you told me about it anyway. Henceforth, any unidentified small animal will be brought to you for identification and advice on nursing it back to health.

      (The large animals, of course, will stay here.)

  7. elesha says:

    Yum Vegemite. On toast with lots of butter. I was so proud when I saw your article in the note book mag.Your words reaching more women. I didn’t know it had folded and now I realise why I was not receiving my monthly mag lol
    Can i ask did you have pain in your breast with your IBC before you were diagnosed, and what was it like. I have no other symptoms but a little pain in my left breast. Also I cant find anywhere a description of what “thickening” of the breast feels like.
    Thank you

  8. We Australians rock! And so does our chocolate. (Don’t be sharing those Cherry Ripes… I wouldn’t!)

  9. NYFriend says:

    How very cool!

  10. Cherry ripes -Yummy!!!
    As for your unidentified animal – was it a duck-billed platypus
    Its got to be the strangest animal they have got in Australia

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