COVID-19: Laurieton resident Jo Cummins diagnosed with breast cancer

Staying positive: Jo is mother to Ty, Taela and Tikira. Photo: supplied.

Staying positive: Jo is mother to Ty, Taela and Tikira. Photo: supplied.

Jo Cummins says she's petrified about her health in light of the COVID-19 outbreak but is taking each day as it comes to remain strong for her three children.

The Laurieton resident was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2019, has undergone surgery and is now doing chemotherapy. She hopes by sharing her story it might help to save another's life.

Jo never checked herself and said she only discovered the lump by accident while putting her bra on.

The lump from the right side of her breast, along with 20 lymph nodes have since been removed in an intensive operation.

The surgery has meant Jo has lost the ability to effectively use the right side of her body.

She was forced to quit her job as a chef at a local cafe. Jo doesn't know when she'll be able to work again in light of the treatment and also the Prime Minister's measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Jo is struggling with the financial toll of the diagnosis, while trying to stay positive for her three children.

Luckily, Jo said she has family who live close by who can take care of her children when needed.

Her friends and community members have also provided Jo with help where they can, through connecting her with services for support.

Jo said she's petrified about looking after herself in the time of the COVID-outbreak.

She's applying hand sanitiser all the time and not leaving her house unless it's absolutely essential.

When she has to go pick up groceries from the shops, she'll take her own wipes to sanitise the trolley before she uses it.

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Due to the intense treatment regime, Jo said she's physically and mentally worn down.

She refused treatment a week ago but her mum insisted they still get out of the house.

Jo said she felt like herself again after enjoying a coffee with her mum at the beach.

Jo wouldn't wish cancer upon her worst enemy and said she'll have to access pain relief medication for her entire life after undergoing her cancer treatment.

Jo said it's important she remains positive for her children and doesn't want to contemplate the thought of someone else raising them.

She's determined not to become a statistic and be a survivor instead.

To support Jo and her family during this difficult time, please donate by visiting the Bald for Boobs gofundme page.

Visit the NSW Health website for more information about the latest on COVID-19.

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