TURNING PAIN INTO PURPOSE
INSPIRING STORIES OF CANCER FIGHTERS & CANCER SURVIVORS
My parents are middle eastern; however, I was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I have lived in Brisbane for over thirty years, where I raised two beautiful daughters and three grandchildren. I was terrified when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, just after my 60th birthday. I thought I received a death sentence. I soon realised that advances in medicine and technology had given many cancer patients new hope. The first few weeks of my healing journey was like a bad dream. I went through surgery to remove the tumour in my breast and then remove fifteen lymphatic nodes. Later the doctors decided to give me chemotherapy and radiation. I was very emotional during the early days of my chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I found it hard to eat drink and suffered a lot of aches and pains. There were days I felt like I had been hit by a truck! The removal of the lymphatic nodes resulted in developing lymphedema in my left arm. As a result, I have to wear a compression sleeve as often as possible to bring down the fluid in my arm. I was allowed to do a mindfulness class which, at the time, I didn’t understand what it was all about, but later, after going through it, made a world of difference. The person who taught us mindfulness was a very caring person who helped me so much. I now use mindfulness techniques to help myself. I’m also a very spiritual person and believe in God and the power of prayer! After four years of going through the treatment of cancer and medications my daughters got in touch with Vitawell Wellness and Manuela Boyle. I have seen Manuela for almost two years now and she has made a big difference to my health by giving me all the necessary supplements I needed to make my lifestyle better and also to improve my health. Her help allowed me to continue with my love for painting. I am passionate about art, and I love creating unique pieces of work. I love challenges, and I believe that being an artist is something born to do. I learn primarily through practical experience and trial and error. I also learn by studying the works of others in Australia and around the world. I find painting very therapeutic, especially whilst undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. I find It fulfilling and relaxing, and every piece of finished art is unique in its way and cannot be re-created. I held my first successful art Showcase in December 2021, and I am now looking forward to expanding in 2022.