Last year we had the privilege of speaking with local Carly Moosah, a strong, powerful, resilient woman who has been kind enough to share her story and journey with breast cancer, to help spread awareness.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to continue raising awareness, we thought re-share this inspiring interview with you
Hi Carly, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Mum, co-founder of KeepEmQuiet with my husband, a wellness coach and writer and a breast cancer advocate and survivor.
What was your biggest self-discovery or revelation after you were diagnosed?
That I could face my biggest fear and survive. I lost my Mum to breast cancer ten years before my own diagnosis and she lost her Mum to breast cancer before having children, so it is something I had feared for as long as I can remember. It made me realise we are stronger than we can ever think possible and we all have that inner strength to see us through. I had to go to many of my chemos alone due to covid, and spent a week in hospital after my double mastectomy alone. If you had told me I was going to be diagnosed with breast cancer at 37 and then we would go into lockdown and the kids would be off school and I would be homeschooling whilst going through chemo I would have never thought it would be possible but as humans we can do the toughest things and actually even find the lessons within the hard times to grow and evolve.
What advice would you give on how to best support a loved one going through breast cancer?
Practical help is imperative. Help with kids if they have them, find out their worst feeling days after treatment and offer to drop food or do school pick ups. Go for walks together. Send pictures and videos to make them smile during treatment or little affirmations. Be there for them. Allow space for all the different emotions. And don’t think that once treatment finishes they no longer need your support. Often this is the hardest time as they navigate to find their new normal so check in on them and let them know you are there for them. And direct them to Future Dreams if they need extra support and community. It is a charity with the aim that no-one face breast cancer alone and they helped me so much.
How has your cancer diagnosis affected you and your family?
I think my husband and I know how fragile life can be and it has made us way more present and grateful. Once you go through something as life changing as a cancer diagnosis it can definitely change your mindset on what really matters. Our kids were quite young when I was diagnosed ( Just 4 and 6). I was in my son’s class for an open morning recently (he’s 9 now) and they were all asked to write something they would change in the world, and he wrote he’d like to change cancer, which broke my heart that he even thinks about cancer but made me so proud at the same time that he wants to make positive change. I wish they hadn’t been off school and seen as much as they did when I was so unwell but I like to think we are closer as a family because we have come through this incredibly difficult time together and they see me well now and so they can know that we can face difficult times and come through the other side.
What would you say is the biggest change you have seen in yourself, as you have moved through treatment to where you are now?
Going through treatment and surgery has changed me fundamentally as a person. I have a much deeper appreciation of the beauty in the smallest moments. I say yes to so much more and have an attitude that this life is for living and that anything is possible. I feel that treatment stripped me right back and allowed for a rebirth of sorts and that my eyes have opened to how quickly life can change and that we only have the present moment. I feel gratitude every single morning that I am here and getting to experience this life, no matter how hard some days may be, it really is a gift to get to feel it all.
Can you tell us about what you are doing to help raise awareness of breast cancer?
In 4 weeks I am trekking 100km across the Sahara Desert for Coppa Feel Charity. They are a charity that spread vital awareness about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and are the reason I found my breast cancer at an earlier stage. My cancer was discovered because I had a swelling under my armpit. You couldn’t actually feel a lump in my breast by hand. They spread the life saving message that we have to know our normal when it comes to our chests (Men and women) and get anything checked out we are worried about. It is a misconception that breast cancer is an older women’s disease. I was 37 when I was diagnosed and I have friends who were diagnosed in their 20s. If you have breast tissue you need to be checking regularly and so I feel passionately about raising awareness as early detection saves lives.
What’s the one thing you think we can all do to help raise awareness?
Check your boobs and pecs today. If you notice anything different to your normal call your GP. Don’t think you are wasting their time. I thought I was and text my sister just before I went in for my ultrasound to say I feel like I’m wasting their time. Thank goodness I still checked and my cancer was found before it had spread further throughout my body. Our health really is the most important thing. So please if you are reading this, check your boobs today.
- Also check out The Future Dreams site, a very special charity supporting anyone diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Coppa Feel Charity – they say – ‘Whatever your age or gender, knowing your body and being aware of the symptoms of breast cancer is really important.’
- They made this easy video, to show you how it is done.