Del Watkins and friend Lynda Pearce
Del Watkins and friend Lynda Pearce

Strength found in breast cancer support group

DEL Watkins and friend Lynda Pearce are both breast cancer survivors and with a toughness and humour these stoic ladies have soldiered on.

"My friends say it was the best thing that happened to me," Del said.

"It brought me out of myself. After my husband died I wouldn't go out but with breast cancer I was altogether different.

"It was positive in that it got me involved in cancer issues and I joined the Breast Buddies group."

The Gladstone group meets regularly at the Women's Health Centre.

It gives friendly support to women, especially women who have recently been diagnosed and going through chemotherapy.

She said the women were there to help.

"My health is good now but it is always in your mind," she said.

"People say to me that they would not have known I'd had breast cancer.

"I was a very shy person. I used to find it hard to ask people for any help. I can't believe that now," she said with a smile.

Lynda lost a breast four years ago after first feeling a lump, but after tests in Gladstone, then Rockhampton, was told that she was "suffering imaginitis".

However, the reality was different and after a cyst was removed cancer was found.

As the carer of her ageing mother the resultant surgery and reconstruction meant she had to get help in but family and friends had been good.

"I learnt that while cancer may be life threatening there are other things just as bad," Lynda said.

Lynda loves dance and her gardening and intends staying positive and active but says it is the small things like finding the right fitting bra that she finds annoying.

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