null My Pink Ribbon Experience
My Pink Ribbon Experience
The Roosa Ribbon (Pink Ribbon) collection in Finland is part of an international awareness program, and allows everyone to support research and raise awareness of breast cancer and other cancers. To mark this, I wanted to share my own experiences of the illness and how it has changed my life.
I was diagnosed in April 2017, and a few weeks later I was admitted for an operation. I was happy in the sense that the tumour could be removed completely from me, and it hadn't spread. I then spent the following summer and autumn undergoing cytostatic treatment and recovering at home.
When I found out about my diagnosis, I felt unreal and I was shocked. After learning more about my situation at the doctor's, and then when the stages of my treatment were planned, I gradually started to feel secure and certain that I was in good care - since we have first-class cancer treatment in Finland.
After my visit to the nurse's office, I first called my parents and siblings. It wasn't easy to share such bad news and I automatically assumed the role of the comforter. Over time and as my treatment progressed, I received a lot of support and help by discussing things with my family, friends and loved ones.
I feel that my experience has strengthened my desire to help, and I’ve been more sensitive to various charitable projects. At the same time, I’ve tried to spread awareness about the issue, so for instance, we organised a Roosa Ribbon Day at Genelec with a bun & coffee break to support cancer research. I’ve also sold Roosa ribbons on behalf of the local association and been involved in collecting donations. I think it’s up to each and every one of us to help others according to our skills and opportunities.
Roosa Ribbon is important to me. I know that the proceeds from the campaign will ensure that today and in the future we’ll find new ways of treating various cancers and providing valuable support for patients and their loved ones.
I also carry the ribbon to remind people that cancer can affect us or our loved ones one way or another. And it’s important to be aware of yourself and not to hesitate to see a doctor if something feels wrong.
Looking to the future
At the moment, I’m in the so-called ‘resting’ phase with my cancer. I'm going to annual checks at the hospital, and my fourth check will be next spring. I know that I may not have gone through my entire cancer yet, and it may return one day, but I try not to be afraid. If something comes up, I’ll deal with it then.
My work community has received my illness openly and I’ve received support and help along the way. However, I’m glad that I’ve not been treated differently, because I’m still the same Nina as before!
This disease has taught me to live life now, not to wait for something to happen. You have to go, paint or do whatever feels good in your life right now. Don’t wait for retirement.
Enjoy every day when you're feeling good, and do things you enjoy. Dream for the future too, no matter how much you feel like it doesn't exist. Dreams will give you strength!
Nina Koski-Vähälä-Kattainen is a much-loved member of our office team in Iisalmi, and anyone who has visited our factory will have seen Nina’s welcoming face smiling at them from behind her desk in reception! She’s been with Genelec since 2013 and lives in Iisalmi with her husband.