A new lease of life for grateful Robina

Dianella’s Robina Crook
Dianella’s Robina Crook

She knew something was wrong, and in June last year doctors diagnosed the Dianella resident with breast cancer.

�The doctors asked me to come in and, I already knew what was about to happen,� Ms Crook said.

She said she requested the same surgeon who operated on her mother when she had breast cancer.

�I had a lumpectomy within a week and a half, and started six rounds of chemotherapy three weeks later,� she said.

�Before and after Christmas I had radiation and then a mastectomy three weeks later.

�You don�t have time to think.�

She raised money for Dry July to help Subiaco cancer care centre Solaris Care, where said she spent almost every Thursday for massage, healing touch, reflexology and counselling during her 12 months of cancer treatment.

�When you think you�re going to die and you don�t have anyone around you, having someone that will hold you is really grounding, something I would never have understood when I was well,� Ms Crook said.

One of the volunteers at the centre suggested she try needlework or crafts.

�Derise (the volunteer) brought in some work for me and I made a costume for a competition in New Zealand called World of Wearable Art,� Ms Crook said.

�The day the pictures of the costume were due was the day before my mastectomy, so instead of sitting for six weeks and freaking out about the operation, I was staying up until 3am sewing and working on the dress,� she said.

�Its purpose was to distract me and it worked really well.�

Ms Crook said she took photos in to show her progress to the volunteers who supported her through a time she felt �terrified.�

Ms Crook said she did not regret the way she had lived her life, but told colleagues of the importance of balance and she now spent more time with her friends and family.