Specialist breast nurse and advocate Lee Millard
LEE Millard is a Specialist Breast Nurse at the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute, Coffs Harbour.
She is a clinical nurse specialist with specific qualifications in breast care, breast cancer nursing, sexual and women's health and lymphoedema.
Her role at MNCCI is to provide information and support to patients diagnosed with breast cancer and their carers from initial diagnosis and care in the acute setting through to follow up in the community.
Lee coordinates assessment clinics for Breastscreen North Coast, providing education, counselling and support to women recalled for assessment and during the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Another aspect of Lee's work is the coordination of the Breast Cancer Connect breast cancer survivors volunteers who provide practical advice and emotional support to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
Lee said she enjoys her job, with no two days at work ever being the same.
"A specialist breast nurse is advocate, friend, supporter, confidant, educator and counsellor - a unique role in nursing,” Lee said.
"As breast nurses we become part of the lives of people diagnosed with breast cancer and their loved ones at a particularly difficult time.
"A diagnosis may bring confusion, fear, anxiety, change and feelings of loss of control.
"I feel privileged that I am able to walk with the women (and men) diagnosed with breast cancer and their loved ones throughout their sometimes difficult journey.”
Lee added that the Coffs Harbour community was fortunate to have breast screening, support groups, dietitians, physiotherapists, counsellors and peer support volunteers to support local cancer survivors along the way.
"My job has also had a huge effect on my approach to life in general,” Lee said.
"My values have shifted over the years; I try not to sweat the small stuff and have little interest in material things.
"At the end of the day it's about our connection with others that counts.”