Cancer story on web video

SHARING HER STORY: Jenny Williams from Papakura is sharing experience of breast cancer in a bid to help other women
Melissa Kinealy
SHARING HER STORY: Jenny Williams from Papakura is sharing experience of breast cancer in a bid to help other women

Living with a rare form of cancer has led Jenny Williams to the wide world of web videos.

It's been nearly three years since the Papakura woman was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 45.

What started as an itchy breast quickly developed into a shock diagnosis and her life changed in the space of just two weeks.

Her story features on the Kiwi Stories of Breast Cancer web videos which document the experiences of 15 New Zealanders who've had breast cancer, including a man. They are produced by the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition which is run by breast cancer survivors.

Mrs Williams describes her type of cancer as "something that grows threads all through the breast until they block the lymphatic vessels".

She now has secondary breast cancer which has spread to her liver and she's undergoing more chemotherapy treatment.

The mother of three, including a daughter with special needs, says her diagnosis has hit her husband really hard.

"We don't know how much longer I've got. But I can't just sit around being a cancer patient."

She's currently fulfilling a dream of becoming a social worker and is continuing with her studies.

And she was very keen to be part of the web videos because she knows that many women go straight to the internet when they are first diagnosed.

In the videos Mrs Williams tells of her diagnosis and treatment programme of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and full mastectomy.

"I have inflammatory breast cancer which does not appear as a lump. So I want women to take note of any changes in their breasts and act on them because breast cancer isn't always about a lump," she says.

She also wanted to raise awareness of the need for women to monitor their breasts for any changes.

"All breast cancer is not the same. We have to be aware of any changes. In my age group, people have a false sense of security with self-examining and mammograms. People need to be really aware that there are breast cancers that can strike really fast."

Kiwi Stories of Breast Cancer web videos were launched on July 6.

Papakura Courier