Awareness. Survivors – True Stories.
Kylie Minogue is sensational. She has reinvented herself. Her look is sexy, sassy, stylish and raunchy, so exciting and sending a powerful message to her millions of fans that says ‘I am here and I am not looking back’. Kylie looks a picture of health. But she has moved on again. One of the most exciting aspects of Kylie Minogue. Kylie’s career had been her ability to metamorphosis and it is happening again before our very eyes – and perhaps this time it has most significance.
Kylie’s world was thrown upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, days before she was due to start a sellout Australian tour. In a TV interview with Cat Deeley when she had turned the corner, Kylie said “One important thing to know is you’re still the same person during it. You’re stripped down near zero. But it seems that most people come out at the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before. I’m more eager than ever to do what I did. I want to do everything.”
Diagnosed with early stage cancer at the age of 36, it was inconceivable to think that Australia’s most famous and endearing daughter has been struck down with the disease. After a lumpectomy and a partial mastectomy, Kylie underwent a gruelling six-month course of chemotherapy in Paris where she withdrew into her own private world to cope with her illness. A pale and gaunt figure, the treatment took its toll. She dug deep, fought her battle and won. Her dignity and strength made her a source of inspiration to all breast cancer sufferers the world over. Kylie’s recovery is remarkable and she has had a hugely beneficial effect raising awareness of breast cancer and focussing women’s attention on their own health and well being. An Australian study found that thanks to the media coverage of Kylie’s encounter with breast cancer, the number of women booking themselves in for breast screenings increased 20-fold. It is hoped that this will reduce the number of deaths caused by the disease. For the best chance of recovery, it is vital to catch breast cancer in its early stages. Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October brings home to all of us the ordeal breast cancer sufferers go through and Kylie’s diagnosis has helped to highlight the issues that ordinary people have to deal with and the horror that is the disease. Kylie has words of encouragement to everyone who is going through the trauma of treatment; “I love to say you can get through it. You can.”
Glowing with health, Kylie is now back on stage. The focus is firmly back on her career and her adoring fans can’t get enough of her.
There is no doubting Kylie’s fans adore her and they have travelled the road with her. Little did she realise what that journey would be. Her fans have watched with concern, read every snippet of news about her illness, prayed for her to have the strength to fight, and are overjoyed to see their golden girl back where she belongs.
Caroline Monk is the girlfriend of TV presenter Matthew Wright and writes a weekly column for Closer magazine. She found a lump in October 2004 aged 35 years.
“I had never checked my boobs before – I always thought that they were not big enough to worry about. I was fiddling with my necklace when I found a very hard lump the size of a pea. Every time I fiddled with it my hands shook. I knew that there was something odd about it. My GP said that it was definitely a cyst, but referred me to a specialist. I was really scared. I felt like a little kid of about three years old, sitting in this chair that was too big for me – you know when your sitting there swinging your legs with your feet hardly touching the floor. The surgeon couldn’t find the lump. My insistence that “it is a bloody lump” resulted in a scan which showed a big black mass – it was bad whatever it was. Two days later I was diagnosed with a very aggressive grade 3 cancer. I didn’t really react to the news. The doctor asked “Are you taking this in?” and I said “Yes, I’m fine. That’s cool.” Of course I was in shock. I always look on the positive side and in a weird way just thought of it as another adventure. Not for a single second did it go through my head that I was going to die.”