It’s About Us Gives Terminally Ill Mums a Chance to Leave Lasting Memories:
A project for mums battling cancer
Date: March 22 2016
Cancer greatly affects lives—not just of those suffering from it, but also the families and friends who fight the battle with their loved ones. It is already sad when we hear someone is diagnosed with cancer; but even more heartbreaking when a young mum who is just starting a life with her family is diagnosed.
it’s about us, an easy-to-use platform by Momento, provides people affected by cancer an opportunity to put all their memories and emotions in a beautiful keepsake through a free digital platform. It hopes to give empowerment by allowing cancer patients to capture memories, emotions, thoughts and feelings through a scrapbook-type keepsake.
Whether it is for personal healing or to leave a lasting legacy, it’s about us is something many terminally ill patients have used.
Marisa Calo, a terminally ill mum, shares her experience using it’s about us: “it's about us has helped me process and deal with my diagnosis, but more importantly, as a mother, it has been a tremendous comfort. When I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer a year after my initial diagnosis, my first thought was of my daughter and of what she would miss out on in life without me. I knew I wanted to write a book for my daughter full of all the things I wanted her to know about myself and about life in general, but I had no idea where to start. it's about us not only provided me with the tools to write the exact book that I wanted, but also the ability to have it printed and made into a real book. Avia loves her book, and often asks me to read it to her.”
When we asked her what she wants to say to other mums who are in the same situation, Marisa advised that they be open and honest with their children. “I don't think my daughter knows I have "cancer", but she knows I get sick, that my boob was removed because it made me sick, and that I go to the hospital every few weeks to have my medicine. She was only 18 months old when I was diagnosed so she doesn’t really know any different,” she said.
“Taking time for yourself is also very important. I found that writing helped clear my head and also focus on what was important and what kind of parent I wanted to be for my daughter. I would also tell other mums to focus on the here and now, and even though it is difficult, to try not to think too much about what might happen in the future. I have scans every three months, and so far things have changed every six months or so for me, so my husband just take it 6 months at a time, and have been happily surprised that right now I am the healthiest I have been since I was very first diagnosed,” she added.
Jo Marx, the woman behind it’s about us and an oncologist’s wife, shares why she started this project: “The idea was the vision of Associate Professor Dr. Gavin Marx. His patients often asked if there was any type of template or book that could be used as an instrument for communication and connection between patients and their families. During this difficult time, it is hard to know where to start, but a number patients did express that they wanted to create something - either for themselves as a purely cathartic exercise and or as a lasting memory that could be treasured by others. With a background in Marketing and Advertising I couldn't wait to use my skills to help create our brand. Having lost a parent to cancer at a young age I would have loved to have had a book I could reference and pick up, filled with memories and messages, and really saw how valuable and beneficial that would be.”
To know more about it’s about us, visit their website at http://www.itsaboutus.com.au.