If I say something I am going to seem like I am ungrateful, so I am not going to put my name down. I had breast cancer and I found the service when I went in for my mammogram really good. They had Indigenous people and they talked to you and explained things. I saw a DVD which showed women getting through it and surviving.
The reality was when I was in the hospital no one cared about my Identity, they didn’t care about my family coming down from the Islands to visit and would just heard them out like cattle. This is my family and I was a million miles away from them.
They said someone could be with me when I had a sugery, that really meant they sat outside. I wanted my mum with me. We got in trouble when I had to go in for chemo for having family around me. Didn’t they understand that’s where I get my strength from.
You should have seen their faces when my Aunty bought me in some turtle. They wanted to chuck us all out I think.
They told me about services to help, but none of them could give me what I needed like money to help pay my bills, food and help with accommodation for my family who came down. They kept sending me letters asking for donations but why should I give them money when they had nothing to help me.
They had these groups of women who would talk and talk about useless things, like making yourself pretty and doing your hair, wigs and stuff like that. If I wanted a makeover it wouldn’t be while I was sick.
They didn’t understand that my head couldn’t be touched, to pat me on the head, and don’t laugh at my hair being covered and afro coming out the side. I wasn’t going to be like some of them women and wear my bald head like a badge of honour. I really didn’t understand that.
But if you have cancer council and breast cancer mob, why don’t they do something to help, tangible help, like money for bills or better yet, pay for some of the drugs they cost a fortune and buying new bra’s. that would have been of more help.
The hospitals need to understand that we are two separate cultures and they have to listen to what we say. Maybe they have advisors, but do those advisors live with cancer, do they live on low income do they have to leave their family
That’s all I have got to say