Tag Archives: Nursing

Ovarian Cancer: Detection and Support

When I was growing up it was more of a rarity to know someone who had cancer. Nowadays it’s a rare if you don’t know multiple people who have been touched by this ever prevalent disease.

For me, it was my mum.

Mum was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer (which means it had spread beyond the ovaries) in 2004 and sadly died two years later.

CWSF4 (002)She was an extremely caring and thoughtful person, a passionate mother, loving wife, generous friend and a dedicated nurse. Mum was born and raised in Bendigo, Victoria. She graduated from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne in 1972 and completed her midwifery studies at the Mercy Maternity Hospital in 1973. Mum ended up ”walking the wards” for 37 years.

Unfortunately, as there are still no early detection tests for Ovarian Cancer – and there is a lack of symptoms in the early stages of the disease, many women are diagnosed when the tumours have spread, making it harder to treat.

This means that the lack of survivors can’t share their cancer journey and advocate to make others more aware.

Also, due to the lack of training in the area of gynaecological cancers (cancers of the female reproductive system), many women are treated as a general cancer patient rather than with specialised care.

My two older sisters, Amy and Jo, myself and two of Mum’s dear friends Marita and Janet, thought women needed specialised support on their cancer journey.

CWSF2So we established the Catherine Wotton Scholarship Fund. Our initial target to set up the fund was $100,000 (yes, my jaw dropped too when I heard this was our target!). We achieved this through various functions, breakfasts, golf tournaments, major sponsors, a now annual Cath Wotton Cup football match, bake sales, sausage sizzles, raffles and the greatly appreciated support of our generous network of friends. The comforting part is we now know this scholarship will be sustainable long into the future.

CWSF3 (002) CWSF1 (002)The scholarship provides registered nurses the opportunity to undertake further study and training in the area of gynaecological and especially ovarian cancers. The aim is to address the current shortage of gynaecological nurses, so that vulnerable women are supported and receive specialised care throughout their cancer journey.

Since 2014 the Scholarship Fund has had four recipients doing remarkable things for women with gynaecological cancers. You can see more about what our past recipients have achieved at our website.

It also aims to raise awareness of gynaecological cancers amongst women in the community.

One woman dies every 10 hours from Ovarian Cancer.

The ideal is for an early detection test to become readily available. This would enable women in the future to add a routine Ovarian Cancer test to their habitual pap smear or breast mammogram enhancing their chances of diagnosing it in its early stages. Until then, hopefully with the help of our scholarship fund, women will get specific care to treat their gynaecological cancer.

If you would like further information about this scholarship please visit our website www.cathwottonfund.org

Images: 1: Lou Wotton and her Mum Cath. 2: The Eastern Devils donning teal jumpers for the Annual Cath Wotton Cup. 3: Cath Wotton Fund logo. 4: The team that established the Cath Wotton Fund (from left) Amy, Janet, Jo, Marita and Lou.  

 

LouBy Lou Wotton

Lou is a 2017 Collingwood AFLW player, accomplished Ironman and triathlete. Lou is a She Science Ambassador and you can follow her on Instagram @wotto19.

 

Sports Bra selection for breastfeeding Mums

With most nursing mothers in a frenzy to shed the weight post pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to see breastfeeding mothers battling it out on the pavement. Unfortunately it’s equally as common to see some obvious mistakes being made with their Sports Bra selection.

Here are a few tips for all the breast feeding mothers out there…

It is seriously unlikely that your bust size is what it was pre-pregnancy, so there is very little chance you can get away with wearing that Sports Bra you’ve had since you were in your final year of Uni. Get rid of it.

Your bust is also likely to change in size and shape a number of times over the next year or so, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about the potential need to invest in a number of different Sports Bra options over the next little while.

A good way to ensure you are not purchasing too often if to avoid Sports Bra’s with underwire. A soft cup bra eg the Moving Comfort Juno (image below), will give a firm level of support without pushing your delicate breast tissue in to cups lined with underwire. This will give you a bit more flexibility to wear the bra as your breast increases and decreases in volume.

When avoiding underwire, often women will be drawn towards the crop top style Sports Bra. This can be a dangerous move for nursing mothers already conscious of their changing shape. The crop top should be avoided if you are trying to stay away from the uni-boob look which is unflattering all round.

For this reason, a bra that offers support using the encapsulation method will have you feeling great about your shape, and offer the flexibility for your changing bust size as mentioned above. The encapsulation method of support separates the breasts from one another and holds them firmly in place.

Most well designed, high impact Sports Bras will have a high neckline that will also aid in modesty and leave you feeling secure and comfortable with your shape. Add this to your ‘must have’ list for extra confidence.

There are plenty of Sports Bras on the market with front fastening which is an obvious inclusion for any breastfeeding mum. This includes options that secure at the front using a zip or clasps, there are also plenty of options that fasten at the back but have adjustable velcro straps at the front (see Moving Comfort Juno below). Both will allow for easy unfastening to breastfeed.

Remembering that nursing Mums can unfortunately experience pain in their breasts for any number of reasons, I hope that by following the guidelines above you should leave yourself with the best chance of feeling comfortable and confident when returning to exercise post pregnancy. Good luck!

Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au

Click the image for more info or to purchase the Juno

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Moving Comfort / Juno
Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au