After a rather healthy and uneventful life, I was diagnosed at 48 years of age with Breast Cancer. And just as I was surfacing after many months of treatment, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis ... a very unwelcome 50th birthday present!
I am blessed with four adult children, a gorgeous grand-daughter, and a wonderfully supportive husband who has been my rock throughout the trials of the last two years.
I work as a senior manager in a national government health department, where I currently have responsibility for a range of programs delivered in general practice and primary health care. I have previously been responsible for managing chronic disease within the same department, including both breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis ... two diseases I would go on to develop in the next two years, even though I didn't know it at the time! (There's nothing like really throwing oneself into one's job and fully understanding it ... but perhaps this went a little too far!!)
I have always worked in the health sector - as a nurse, a heath educator, and now in national health policy and program administration. In my spare time over the years, I have also volunteered with various women's health interest groups, and more recently became a Community Liaison for Breast Cancer Network Australia.
My health interests have tended to focus on women's health, prevention and, more recently, chronic disease self-management. The latter was something I was also responsible for in my chronic disease job, but with my recent RA diagnosis, it is fair to say that I now take a much greater personal interest in strategies for coping and living positively with a chronic disease!