Fuck Cancer Don't Delay Fun!
Be quick! Second delivery almost sold out & don’t forget you can also donate directly to Sweet Louise...Thanks everyone for your amazing support! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @fuckcancer_dontdelayfun for updates.
Dr Claire McLintock and her F*** Cancer collab with Workshop
(NZ Herald article about Claire)
My name is Claire and I am one of the 350 New Zealanders each year who has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
Living with a diagnosis of incurable cancer is hard. At times I feel very frightened and alone. The diagnosis changes the equilibrium of living with a vague certainty of death to living with absolute certainty of death. You lose the opportunity to live life with the illusion that it won’t happen to you.A diagnosis of incurable cancer takes you from living life in the uncertain certainty of your own death to the certain certainty that it will happen; you lose the luxury of pretending you have all the time in the world.It is not surprising that sometimes you want to respond by cursing and swearing because it seems so brutally unfair. "FUCK CANCER" is an honest response to this situation and the phrase "DON'T DELAY FUN" takes on new meaning.I am so happy to have worked with my husband, artist John Reynolds and friends Chris and Helen Cherry from Workshop on this project. Proceeds from sale of the T-shirts will go directly to support Sweet Louise, an NZ non-profit foundation for people with advanced breast cancer.We hope people will wear these FUCK CANCER and DON’T DELAY FUN T-shirts with pride knowing that they are supporting a fantastic charity that walks alongside people with incurable breast cancer.
Why Fuck Cancer?
I don’t know why I got metastatic breast cancer. It sucks and sometimes it makes me feel sad. I know that my chemo helps control it but at some stage the cancer will gain the upper hand. Cancer is clever. But I don’t need to live a sad life. I can make the most of all the opportunities life gives me. Spending time with family and friends. Finding fun. Coping with the moments of sadness - the “cancer moments” I call them.It is not surprising that sometimes the whole thing makes you want to respond by cursing and swearing because it seems so brutally unfair. "FUCK CANCER" is an honest response to this situation and the phrase "DON'T DELAY FUN" takes on new meaning.These two slogans are now featured on a special collaboration of limited-edition fundraising T-shirts designed by my husband, artist John Reynolds and our friends, Chris and Helen Cherry at Workshop. Proceeds from sale of the T-shirts will go directly to support Sweet Louise, a charity for people with advanced breast cancer. John and Workshop have worked together on projects since before I even arrived in Aotearoa, NZ so it was a natural choice to ask if they wanted to partner with John and I on this project and I am so happy they agreed.We hope people will wear these FUCK CANCER and DONT DELAY FUN T-shirts with pride knowing that they are supporting a fantastic charity that walks alongside people like me with incurable breast cancer.
More About Claire…
I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 when I was 37. My daughters, Hart and Vita were six and three. Then in 2017, on my daughter Hart’s 21st birthday, I found out that it had come back, and it had spread. I had had a clear mammogram and ultrasound just 2 days before, but my breast cancer had spread to my peritoneum - the name given to your abdominal space where your bowels and organs sit.We decided not to tell the girls and that night only told 2 other friends about the diagnosis. We wanted the party to be about Hart, not me. But I had to give a speech - it’s my thing and not doing it would be strange. I managed to get through it but I cried a lot - but that was ok; crying at speeches and school and family events is also my thing so no one suspected a thing.We told the girls the next day. We were all crying. I still worry that I ruined Hart’s 21st birthday.Since then, I have been on a few different sorts of treatment, including chemotherapy for my breast cancer. So far these have given me good control of my symptoms. I have have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and if I stop taking chemotherapy now, the cancer will take control.WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I DO?
I was born and raised in Scotland and studied medicine in the University of Edinburgh. I came to Auckland for “just one year” in 1990. In 1991 I met my now husband, artist John Reynolds and we married in 1995. One year later Hart was born. I finished my training as a haematologist and medical specialist in 1999, just in time for Vita’s birth. I am very happy to still be living in Aotearoa, NZ. I have a beautiful family and a wonderful community.I now work as a specialist in blood (haematology) and also in pregnancy medicine (obstetric medicine) in National Women’s Health, Auckland City Hospital and I have small private practice Redhealth. I know a lot about looking after pregnant women with medical problems that could complicate their pregnancies. In haematology, I specialise in looking after people with bleeding and clotting problems. I am frequently asked to speak at conferences and workshops across the world to share my knowledge (I think they like my Scottish accent!). I love teaching and learning from the people I met in Nigeria, South Africa, in India, Thailand, Malaysia, in Latin America, Mexico, Argentina, in Europe, the UK and, the US and Canada and of course Australia and New Zealand. I travelled a lot.In 2019 I was awarded the Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Obstetrics and Haematology.Of most importance to me is my family and my friends - my community. They have walked alongside me, and their constant love and support keeps me going.
Who are Sweet Louise?
Sweet Louise supports around 750 people in New Zealand with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. Around 350 New Zealanders each year are diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.Sweet Louise believes no one should face this diagnosis alone. They aim to ringing hope, companionship, and support to people with incurable breast cancer. They providing one-on-one emotional support from a local Support Coordinator and through the organisation of over 250 vital group meetings around the country, where women can connect with others in the same situation.Sweet Louise also provides practical help. Each woman can choose the help they need most, for things like petrol, food delivery, groceries, household help, well-being treatments and mastectomy wear.For whānau with children or grandchildren at home, Sweet Louise organises special family experiences such as a trip or special outing so families can spend quality time together and create precious memories.Sweet Louise receives no Government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of caring Kiwis to provide this vital care and support.And the need is growing! The good news is that the average length women are supported by Sweet Louise has increased with the introduction of newly funded drugs. It costs Sweet Louise $1,500 per person per year to support their needs.We also know that there are hundreds of Kiwis with stage 4 advanced breast cancer who do not currently receive support from Sweet Louise – we want to be there for them too.We choose Sweet Louise as the non-profit to team up with because I know that when you are living with the certain certainty of dying, having a community of people to help make your life more enjoyable and less stressful is a beautiful gift.