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Kiwi Director Opens Up About Her Journey With Terminal Breast Cancer In New Podcast Series

“A diagnosis of advanced breast cancer is like a bomb going off. It calls absolutely everything into question.” - Jane Reeves

Television producer and director Jane Reeves has teamed up with Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ) to release a new podcast series on living with advanced breast cancer (ABC).

The five-part series, titled Life with ABC, is hosted by Jane, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 39. Five years later, what she initially mistook for a running injury in her hip turned out to be ABC – where breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Jane said: “For a long time I kept my stage four breast cancer quiet. I was smacked with the diagnosis, I went through the stages of grief and had so many questions about how to deal with it all. But over time I learnt the importance of sharing and communicating. That’s why I wanted to use my skills to help other women – and men – going through this journey.

“In making this series, I was blown away by the strength and tenacity of the women I spoke with. Each of us have dealt with different circumstances, but after having such honest conversations together I’ve realised we have so many shared experiences. My hope is that these podcasts will help every woman making their way through this wonky world of Stage 4 to not feel alone.”

Evangelia Henderson, chief executive of BCFNZ, said: “Anyone who has recently been diagnosed with ABC will find these podcasts helpful, as will their loved ones. Jane has done so well in telling the story that you can live well with ABC. We hope these podcasts will provide a source of inspiration during this testing time.”

The first episode, called ‘The Stage 4 bombshell’, features Jane speaking with three women - Paula, Elisa, and Sheryll – who speak frankly about their experiences. The issues of work, guilt, family and hope are covered in conversation. Concepts such as ‘scan-xiety’ – the tension around scans to see whether the cancer has spread – give listeners insight into the world of ABC.

Topics covered in the following episodes include the physical and mental challenges of ABC, and how to talk to children and teens about their Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis.

All five episodes can be found here:

Jane Reeves has spent 25 years in television as a researcher, director and producer, having worked for TVNZ, TV3, Māori TV, as well her own company Tellyvise Ltd. Some of her work includes Gang Kids, No Ordinary Joe, Canvassing the Treaty, Ta Paora, Ngārara: Overcoming Addiction, and most recently Māori TV’s Artefact, a documentary series presented by Dame Anne Salmond.

© Scoop Media

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