Overcoming Breast Cancer and Mastectomy Surgery. The same journey faced the whole world over.

 

Original article was written by Valerie & printed by Happy Magazine in 2019

This blog story begins in December 2014, my family were very lucky to travel to Vietnam for two months. My husband Finbarr had the opportunity to work at a Vietnamese university. We were very excited to have this adventure with our children, who were aged seven, five, and three years old at the time.

We were staying in the city of Can Tho, which is south of Ho Chi Minh City. Almost as soon as we arrived, we fell in love with the city and its people. The Vietnamese people are the friendliest of people, constantly smiling and appear very content and happy in their lives.

Through Finbarr’s work at the university, he met with medical workers. A very nice Australian Doctor, Julie, was one of the group and she became friendly with our family. Julie had lived in Can Tho for some time and was working at the local hospital in Oncology.

On mentioning my work, which is a Mastectomy Fitting Service based in my home county of Limerick, she was very interested to know what supports women in Ireland received. Government supports in Ireland, for women who had breast cancer surgery, are good.  Breast prostheses, mastectomy bras, and mastectomy swimwear are provided yearly, for women who have medical cards or private health insurance.  We chatted about the supports around the world and she offered to introduce me to Dr. Trung who was head of the Breast Clinic in Can Tho Hospital. Naturally, there was a genuine interest in finding out what kind of supports are provided for Vietnamese women and the offer of being introduced to the Doctor was very welcome.

Having met up with Dr. Trung for coffee it was easy to take an instant liking to this young Doctor who came from the countryside of the Mekong region. He had been working in Can Tho Oncology for a number of years and it was obvious, how passionate he was about his work and how much he cared for his patients. He spoke about the women and mentioned how little they had and how he hoped one day that things would improve with Government support.

The hospital relied on outside help and had recently received a new x-ray machine, donated from India. Dr. Trung also told me that along with others, he had been involved in setting up a Breast Cancer Group. I told him that I had trained in America as a Mastectomy Prostheses Fitting Specialist and had set up my post-operative Mastectomy Service in the Mid-West, the Munster Region of Ireland, just the year before, in 2013. He was very keen for me to meet his patients at the hospital and asked me to talk to them about life for women in America and Europe who had gone through breast cancer. It was a distinct pleasure to do so and a few weeks later having organised a presentation, I was looking forward to meeting with Dr. Trung’s patients at Can Tho Hospital.

Dr. Trung stressed that he really wanted me to convey to all his patients that wherever we are in the world, we have the same concerns and thoughts once we are given a cancer diagnosis. This fact is so important and it was agreed to bring it into the presentation.

With the help of a translator and many slides, I hoped to give a few ideas to the women in Can Tho as to what can be done in building back, confidence and surety, where it was lost.

The day we got together

Everything begins early in Vietnam. The meeting was scheduled for 7:30 am on a Saturday morning. When walking into a room full of people, it was amazing how instantly the emotions kicked in, even amidst all these complete strangers. Everybody was early, seated, and waiting for me, which was a little overwhelming and it really made me want to help in any way possible.  Greeted with hugs and kisses it’s was a real treasured memory. Nervous because of the language barrier, and only knowing two words of Vietnamese, xin chào and cm ơn bn (hello and thank you), it was immediately remembered how important body language is. Smiling, nodding and shaking hands can make a better connection between people than any conversation could. This had already been apparent when my own kids played with Vietnamese kids during our trip and at their day school. It was all very welcoming.

In all, twenty-three patients past and present from the hospital came along, some from the city and some from the villages situated along the Mekong. A few family members attended, including one husband who hoped to learn something for his wife, who had just undergone surgery the day before.

Once Dr. Trung’s introductions were made, it’s hoped the presentation aided by an Interpreter helped in some way. These women did not receive any government assistance. If they did not have private health insurance, then they had to pay for their treatment in full. If they could not pay, then they were not treated. It was as stark as that. The objective for me was to give as much information as possible on products we use, hoping that these women could take some inexpensive ideas with them on their road to recovery.

We talked about the differences and similarities between the different countries. I measured each woman and made a promise to send mastectomy bras and accessories as a donation from, Valerie’s Breast Care.

Dr. Trung showed me around the hospital afterwards. Conditions were not so good. Two or three women had to share a bed. Many women were on temporary beds in the corridors. The hospital staff had to work with a small amount of equipment and space. It was difficult to see.

However walking through, there was the chance to meet some of the women from the breast cancer group that had been at the presentation and it was very obvious that they had great camaraderie among each other. There was a lot of laughter and definitely a bit of craic.

A favourite photo from the day was the one above, of the women eating lunch together in the outdoor area of the hospital. It shows happy people supporting each other.

Needless to say, on getting back to Limerick, the promised package of mastectomy bras with accessories was sent over, and they were so grateful.

Dr. Trung and I are still in contact. We send each other greetings every New Year, both his and mine, and it’s hoped someday, to get to visit Can Tho and the breast clinic again.

We are all the same

Looking back on the photos brings up emotions of that time, thinking of these women and the support they had for each other. Having had this experience in Vietnam, with these wonderful people, it motivated me to look up mastectomy shops, visits when possible and gain a broad appreciation for what other countries provide for women going through breast cancer.

It makes the world so much smaller when seeing that basically, we are all the same, wherever we live. We still have the same concerns, worries, and thoughts. Which goes to prove that supporting each other and being kind to each other means everything.

For many Valerie’s Breast Care is just one of those first organisations you can reach out to when picking up the pieces and moving on from what has been a particularly difficult time. I’m so glad to have this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to everyone.

Valerie Murphy, Valerie’s Breast Care

Mobile: 085 160 1783

Emails: valerie@valeriesbreastcare.ie

I love to chat and you can call me directly on 085 160 1783.

Discover more - visit our Home Page

 

Posted in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

117 Comments

  1. Support. It’s the philosophy for the moment. We really do all need to support each other. A beautiful blog of this journey.

  2. I love how you show how these women support each other. What a lovely reminder that women across the world are similar and often have the same experiences. I remember when you came up with this idea so many years ago. It’s been amazing to see your journey over time. Thank you for the work you’re doing.

    • Thank you for your lovely comments Suzanne. I have loved the journey. Great to get your continued support. Valerie x

  3. It’s so important Valerie to be reminded of your worldwide experience.

    Wishing you the very best with your website.

  4. “Wherever we are in the world, we have the same concerns and thoughts once we are given a cancer diagnosis”. Touching!

  5. I have recently started a website, the info you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. Chantalle Rockwell Trocki

  6. Hello, Neat post. There exists a concern as well as your site in internet explorer,
    may check this? IE nonetheless may be the marketplace leader and
    a huge portion of other folks will leave out
    your fantastic writing because of this issue.

    my web blog binder pockets

  7. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are
    not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after
    your heart.

  8. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a
    little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner
    because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some
    time to talk about this topic here on your blog.

  9. Naturally I like your web site, however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very silly to inform you. Nevertheless I will surely come again again! Griselda Vachel Bolen

  10. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I have really enjoyed
    browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will
    be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write
    again very soon!

  11. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it! Katine Levey Lenrow

  12. whoah this blog is fantastic i love studying your posts. Keep up the good work! You understand, a lot of people are searching round for this information, you could aid them greatly. Veronika Tobit Erwin

  13. Its like you learn my mind! You appear to know
    so much about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.

    I feel that you simply could do with some percent to drive the message home a little bit, however instead
    of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  14. Thanks, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure concerning the source? Cybil Kincaid Profant

  15. Good post however , I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very
    grateful if you could elaborate a little bit
    further. Appreciate it!

  16. First off I want to say wonderful blog! I needed a simple question which
    I’d love to ask should you don’t mind. I had been curious to find out the way you center yourself and
    clear your thinking before writing. I actually have had trouble
    clearing my mind in acquiring my ideas out there. I truly do
    get pleasure from writing however it just may seem like the very first ten or fifteen minutes
    are typically wasted simply just trying to puzzle out where to start.
    Any suggestions or tips? Cheers!

    Also visit my webpage – planner binder

  17. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  18. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your
    favourite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be mindful
    of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst other people consider concerns that they just don’t understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as neatly as defined out the whole thing without having
    side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
    Thanks

  19. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss
    and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would
    enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    ps4 games 185413490784 ps4 games

  20. Evaluations of skin cell are typically declare that the Skincell Pro skin tag remover is a high focus of clinically shown active components which work to deal with
    details skin care concerns. This serum-based gel-based formula additionally consists of
    clinically verified natural hydrating representatives and also anti-oxidants to permanently
    get rid of the unsightly noticeable moles & other skin tags without the pain, scarring or
    stitches. It is easy to use as it can be used on the damaged location with
    the use of a dual cap. In just a number of weeks, you will certainly see outcomes that will make you
    proud to be a skin tag remover yourself. https://shorturl.at/qtxyV

  21. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.
    Great choice of colors!

  22. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own weblog and was curious what all is required
    to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  23. Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much
    approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you just could do with a few % to pressure the message home a bit, but other than that,
    that is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  24. Hello excellent blog! Does running a blog like this require a great deal of work?

    I have absolutely no expertise in programming however I had
    been hoping to start my own blog in the near
    future. Anyway, should you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to ask.
    Cheers!

  25. It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this publish and if I may I want to recommend you few interesting issues or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I desire to learn even more things approximately it!

  26. Wow, awesome blog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a
    blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The whole glance of
    your site is wonderful, let alone the content!
    0mniartist asmr

  27. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My
    website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off?
    I’d certainly appreciate it. asmr 0mniartist

  28. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be helpful to read through content from other authors and use something from their sites.
    0mniartist asmr

  29. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer, may test
    this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good part of other folks will leave out your
    great writing due to this problem.

    P.S. If you have a minute, would love your feedback
    on my new website
    re-design. You can find it by searching for «royal cbd»
    — no sweat if you can’t.

    Keep up the good work!

    Here is my web site delta 8 products

  30. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am no longer sure whether this submit is written by means
    of him as nobody else realize such particular about my problem.
    You’re incredible! Thank you!

  31. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came
    to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to
    improve my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  32. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    happen to be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and
    will often come back very soon. I want to encourage you to
    definitely continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  33. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog
    and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly
    appreciated. Kudos

    P.S. If you have a minute, would love your feedback
    on my new website
    re-design. You can find it by searching for «royal cbd» —
    no sweat if you can’t.

    Keep up the good work!

    Also visit my blog; buy instagram followers

  34. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for
    your further write ups thanks once again.

    P.S. If you have a minute, would love your feedback on my new website
    re-design. You can find it by searching for «royal cbd» — no sweat if you can’t.

    Keep up the good work!

    my blog: buy instagram followers

  35. แทงบอล ออนไลน์ SBOAAAAA นวชาตง้างสละให้บริการทิ่มแทงลูกบอลออนไลน์แล้วไปวันนี้ สารภาพพนันขันต่อออนไลน์กีฬาชั้นดีเลิศกระทั่ง 30 ขนานทั่วโลก ครบถ้วนบริการบริเวณนานาเนกหมวดครบถ้วนอำนวยบริการ 24hr รองการสำแดงทั่วรูปร่างไม่ว่าจักครอบครองหนทาง Mobile ตกลงโจ้ ดังนี้ยังมีอยู่ราคาฟุตบอล Step ค่าอื้อซ่ากว่าใคร มุ่งหวังเบิกบานอาลัยกู ดิฉันพกเกมส์มาให้คัดเลือกบรรเลงกระทั่ง
    500 บัญชีรายชื่อประกบสัปดาห์ อัพเดทปัจจุบัน ยังมีชีวิตอยู่ใหม่ล้วน คีบครอบครองเว็บกะซวกลูกบอลตำแหน่งน่าพอใจหัวแห่งแหลมทองล่วงเลย
    ทั้งนี้อีกทั้งเก่งคัดเลือกเล่นฟุตบอลหาได้ทั้งหมดลีก ทุกยมล ทั่วโลก ครบถ้วนเสริอ่านฟมาริอำนวยสมาชิกเสียบลูกฟุตบอลออนไลน์ดั่งครบครัน ไม่ว่าจะเป็นการเสียบลูกบอลออนไลน์ , เสียบบาส , เบสบอล , เทนนิส , อเมริกันบอล , กีฬาเหมือนสุทธิ ,
    การเล่นสนุก , ออสเตรเลียน รูลส์ฟุตบอล , แบดมินตัน ,
    แบนดี้ , บอลชายทะเล ,
    มวยฝรั่ง , มวยไทย , คริกเกต
    , รถถีบ ,เกมส์โยนเป้า
    , อีสปอร์ต , ฮอกกี้ , ฟุตซอล , ลื้อลิฟุตบอล , กอล์ฟ
    , แฮนด์บอล , ฮอกกี้น้ำแข็ง , ลาครออยู่ส , มอเตอร์สปอร์ต , รักบี้ , สควอช , เทบินเอียงนิส , วอลเลย์บอล , โปโลน้ำกิน โอลิมปิก , กีฬาฤดูหนาวเหน็บ เป็นต้น
    อีกระนาว ทั้งหมดพรรณถวายร้างไปลูกบอลประเสริฐหัว คุ้มพร้อมทั้งทรัพย์สมบัติพนันดังหนักแน่น
    เอสบีโอเบท เว็บทิ่มแทงลูกบอลออนไลน์พื้นดินดีงามเต็มที่ โดยกอบด้วยแม่สื่อแม่ชัก agent ที่อยู่เยอะมุทธาที่ชาติไทย เป็นหน้าเป็นตาข้างในถ้อยคำข้อความสะดวก ราบรื่น โดยฉับพลัน พร้อมกับไขยื่นให้ทำเพลงพนันฟุตบอลออนไลน์ถูกกฎหมายทั้งปวงระบอบ รวมหมดท้าพนันกีฬาออนไลน์ คาซิปูดใหม่ ติดอยู่สฺิโป่งออนไลน์ ปนเกมส์ค้างสิโป่งมาหาวางที่นี้รวด พร้อมกันยังมีกบิล ไหว้วาน-ขอคืน เบี้ยประกอบได้รับทั้งมวล 24 ครู่ แม้เรียกร้องใช้บริการเว็บ nova88 เริ่มทำ ฝากขั้นต่ำ
    ร้อย พระบาทแต่ ก็อาจประเดิมเข้าประจำที่พนันขันต่อบอลออนไลน์คว้าหลังจากนั้นต่างว่ามุ่งมั่นมุ่ง สมัครขา สโบเบทอาจจะโทรศัพท์หาได้อเนกทางเลือกพร้อมทั้งรองโปรแตงโมชั่นคนเอี่ยมทุก User
    SBOAAAAA หมายความว่าเอเยนต์เนื้อที่เทอะทะยิ่งณรัฐสยาม มีอยู่คดีมีชีวิตผู้ชำนาญในที่กิจธุระการกำนัลบริการเสียบฟุตบอลออนไลน์ พร้อมสรรพยังจัดหามารับสารภาพข้อคดีวางใจแหล่เป็นยอด
    ไหว้วานไถ่ไว จัดหามาทรัพย์สมบัติชัวร์ การันฟันหาได้
    ไปกลุ่มกิจคุณค่ากระทั่ง 10 ชันษา วานถอนเบี้ยเปล่ามากเกิน 3 นาที รับความน่าเชื่อถือเร็วมาก ตำลูกบอลออนไลน์ จัดหามาต่อเนื่องมิมีอยู่หยุด จุดดีเหลือแหล่แผนกสร้างถวาย
    สโบเบ็ต ตรงนั้นขึ้นเสด็จพระราชดำเนินยังไม่ตายผู้ปกครองเว็บพนันขันต่อทำเนียบสวยงามมัตถก บ้างอาจจะมั่นคงตั้งมัสดก เผื่อได้คิดใจความสำคัญเว็บบรรเลงเดิมพันออนไลน์ จะแตะห่วงใย สโบเบ็โคนอนไลน์ ได้ทั้ง 24 ขณะ หวังคว้ารองรับบริการแหล่งสวยงามมัสดกเทียบดังหนึ่งผู้ใช้ VIP ทั้งปวงยูสเซอร์ ต้อนรับขับสู้เตือนดิฉันจะเปล่าจัดทำปันออกคุณคว้าน้ำเหลว

  36. พนันฟุตบอลตัดผ่านเว็บทิ่มแทงฟุตบอลออนไลน์ เคยชินได้ข่าวข้อความสำคัญสรรพสิ่ง ราคาลูกฟุตบอลหลั่งโกง บังบ้างไม่ก็ไม่ ชายทรวงอกล่วงพ้นว่าจ้างนี่เปล่าใช่ความเอี่ยม แต่กระนั้นต่างว่าพินิจบังส่งมอบดีๆ ไม่ก็ใครถิ่นที่ชอบใจงานตำฟุตบอลยังไม่ตาย จำต้องรู้จักขนันมั่ง ขออนุญาตสั่งสอนเพราะว่าจ้านพนันเริ่มหัดต่อว่าสิ่งระวางจำเป็นต้องลงมือเป็นอันถึงแก่มรณกรรมแต่เดิมเพรงเปิดฉากแหมะพนันขันต่อผ่านพ้นก็คือว่า เล่าเรียนแนวเป่า แนวทาง และหัวข้อสิ่งของ มูลค่าลูกบอลหลั่งไหล นำไว้ยกให้เป็นผลดี
    เป็นพิเศษมนุษย์พื้นที่ชอบ
    เดิมพันลูกฟุตบอลไลฟ์
    ราคาบอลรินแกล้ง คือ การแปรผันสิ่ง คุณประโยชน์แม่น้ำ แห่งทางวิ่งเว็บพนันขันต่อคะเนยกมาวางก่อนหน้า ซึ่งกำเนิดเดินทางสถานการณ์กรณีได้มาเปรียบเหมือนหรือว่าเป็นเบี้ยล่างระหว่างระวางสิ้นสุดการประชันอำนาจจากคงไว้ แต่กลับสมมุติสังเกตเลี้ยงดูปกติจักประกอบด้วยห้วงคราวหนึ่งที่ดินคุณค่าแม่น้ำลำคลองโน่นพลิกฉับพลันกับไหลหลั่งขึ้นๆ ลงๆสิงทุกเวลา ซึ่งคือกิริยาท่าทางเพี้ยนจำพวกอื้อซ่า พร้อมกับส่งบทสรุปยื่นให้มีความเสี่ยงภัยในจักปราชัยสูงรากเลือด สมมติว่าเลือกคัดท้าพนันภายในทางตรงนี้

  37. Amazing issues here. I am very happy to look your article.

    Thank you a lot and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you.

    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  38. I’ve learn some just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how so much attempt you put to create this kind of wonderful informative site.

  39. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Many thanks

  40. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be
    subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access
    consistently rapidly.

  41. scoliosis
    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I
    could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?

    Thanks a lot! scoliosis

  42. dating sites
    Hello would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re
    utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it! dating sites

  43. Great blog here! Additionally your website loads up fast!
    What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting your
    associate hyperlink on your host? I desire my website loaded
    up as quickly as yours lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy