Sunday, October 3, 2010

Posting Pink

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I posted a tribute to my darling Mum last year here.

Mum had to put up with a lot of dodgy kitchens over the years. We moved around South Australia with my Dad's job & his employer always provided us with a house. All well & good, but the kitchens were generally well past their use-by-date & Mum struggled. The bench tops were the problem, as Mum was very tall at 5'11" & of course, they were always too low. So Mum always left a session in the kitchen rubbing her back & voicing her 'displeasure' at the 'One Size Fits All' mentality of cabinetmakers.

Many years later, towards the end of her life, she was able to fulfil her dream of the perfect kitchen. She remodelled her own kitchen in her own home & made sure the benchtops were built to her exact height specifications. I don't think she stopped smiling once it was complete! So, while this pink kitchen of Mal Corboy's is a probably a little OTT for your simple taste darling Mum, I know it would have made you smile!

Mum's breast cancer was well-advanced by the time she was diagnosed & her subsequent surgery very radical, with extensive lymph node involvement & wide excision. The effect this had on the lymphatic drainage to her affected arm was dramatic. Breast Care Nurses were non-existent then, but in her post-operative recovery, Mum was very fortunate to be cared for by an RN who had developed these skills informally. She was an angel & I will never forget the loving care, support, wise counsel & advice she gave Mum in the ensuing years. Today I want to highlight the work of these dedicated nurses, their essential work is now recognized & acknowledged globally. In Australia the Jane McGrath Foundation has championed this cause - breast care nurses are specially trained registered nurses who act as patient advocates, coordinating care for women with breast cancer, their families and their carers. They provide accurate information, support and referral to services. Along with her 2 precious children Holly & James, the McGrath Breast Care Nurses Foundation has been Jane's greatest legacy. Thank you Jane & Glenn for making a difference to the lives of hundreds of women with breast cancer & their families.

Images: Mal Corboy



  1. Oh Millie, this post brings a tear to my eyes. My mum is a breast cancer survivor so the thought of it is never far from my mind.
    As for the pink kitchen, I think all mums deserve something this glamorous.
    Happy Sunday.

  2. Millie, what a wonderful tribute to your gorgeous Mum. She sounds like she was an amazing women. But, of course, she was. I know because you are pretty amazing yourself, so she must have been. My Mum was given a few months to live some 16 years ago. I think she is still here because of her Scottish temper 'imagine a man telling me when to get my affairs in order'. She was quite indignant!!

  3. Millie, My mum is a breast cancer survivor. 28 years now. THis is a cause very dear to my heart. wonderful tribute to your own sweet mum. xxoo

  4. Lovely post Milly - a great tribute to your mum and I must say this kitchen is right up my alley - I just was not quite brave enough to add all that extra pink into my house!! Leanne xx

  5. Here's to all of those people who do such sterling work..... they definitely don't get the recognition they deserve.Not only do they help the patient, but also the families .... they are, indeed angels and I say this from experience.
    Such streamlined kitchen images, that put mine to shame. It was so lovely that your mum got her perfect kitchen. You have told us that she was a good cook, so it must have been wonderful for her after all of the 'naff' kitchens she had.
    Have a lovely new week, Mill's. XXXX

  6. Millie-I just rambled here by accident and found something very dear to my heart. I lost my own mother to advanced breast cancer. I don't know that we have a similar foundation here in the U.S. In fact, I have never heard of a breast care nurse (though we may have them). Oct is always my mammogram month! Nice to "meet" you!

  7. Pink...the best colour for this month....a beautiful tribute to your Mum Millie. xv

  8. Hugs on this day of remembering your wonderful mother Millie.

    I know she must have been an extraordinary woman because just look at her daughter.

    I think the pink kitchen would have definitely made her smile - made me smile as I just love love love pink.

    Glad to hear you got your print ok.

    Smiles and hugs

  9. What a wonderful post..and how awful that your mother went through that. I haven't known anyone with breast cancer but it seems to affect so, so many. Rachaelxx

  10. What a great post. Love, Heidi

  11. Sending you a big hug Millie, such a beautiful post and tribute to your lovely Mother. The photo of you and your Mum is gorgeous.
    Also wonderful to praise the Medical people who work so hard, with all they do.

    Happy week

  12. What a beautiful post Millie....

    They sound like the Aussie equivalent of our MacMillan nurses who help with cancer patients - my mother in law had a wonderful nurse who did so much for her and for us, they truly are angels xx

  13. Dear Millie,
    Your mention of your mother's wonderful nurse struck a cord with me because so much of how we feel depends on how we are treated.
    I don't mind admitting I've had my share of dark moments which have coincided with the times I've been treated like a number and then left alone with my thoughts.
    There are so many privately run imaging/scan businesses these days which are staffed not by medical professionals but technicians who could use a few lessons in sensitivity. I still think back to the month leading up to surgery, when I had to visit many of these awful places, as the worst part of my journey so far.
    Contrast this to the my breast care nurse and the oncology nurses where I receive my chemo. These lovely people are angels, nothing is a problem, every question is answered and patients are treated with the utmost dignity.
    Jane McGrath was and continues to be a great inspiration.
    Pamela xx

  14. Dear Millie
    I remember your mum's post last year.. such a sweet tribute to I'm sure a brave and wonderful woman... My own mum died from cancer [not breast]...

    And like your mum.. my mum was tall too and I can recall the tiny tiny kitchen we had in our home before my father renovated the home... The kitchen was then huge and can't recall custom height.. but it was certainly the hub of the home with mum Queen of all her kingdom... well not quite... but you know what I mean...

    Thinking of you and all our wonderful mums... sorry I took so long to visit.. I've had no internet at all.. boo hoo.. Have a lovely week xxx Julie

  15. Pamela, lovely to hear from you. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on the private Medical Imaging Companies. After being kept waiting for over 2 hrs. following Mammography & Ultrasound, I had cause recently to ask a very lazy & uncommunicative Receptionist 'Who pays your wages?' She retored 'Drs. Blah & Partners.' 'No' I replied 'As your Company's valuable client, I do!!' She got the picture. All these big practices have Marketing Depts - so I urge you to fill in their Feedback forms. It's a very competitive business & they need to keep on top of their game. Hope you are managing to enjoy your garden & the Spring sunshine.
    Millie ^_^

  16. I think the kitchen is AWESOME!!!
    A lovely tribute to your momma. Have a wonderful day ~ xox Alexandra

  17. Hi Millie,
    What a wonderful tribute to your dear mum. My grandmother passed away of breast cancer many years ago ... I am so touched and humbled by this post.
    You mum was an amazing woman.


  18. Millie, your post brought me to tears. I lost my beloved nanna to breast cancer when I was 15, and it was so hard to see such an amazing and energetic woman suffer like she did. That was 25 years ago, and thankfully things have improved so much in that time, but the disease still takes so many wonderful women. Let's hope they find a cure very soon. K xx

  19. Thank you for sharing your story about your Mum and letting us know more about what the McGrath Foundations does.
    I am so pleased to hear your Mum got her gorgeous and individual kitchen in the end.
    Love the pink kitchen- stunning:)

  20. I did a pink post also Millie, My stepmother is a 5 year survivor and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost someone from this devastating disease.

  21. First, thank you also for sharing your story about your Mum. Wish I have a beautiful place like this on my home. I think I need to saved more for a beautiful kitchen like this. :)

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And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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