Settlement News (May 2016)

Amanda Baker's Welcome Back Message

Hi everyone.

You may have noticed that my Settlement News messages and my appearance at industry events stopped quite suddenly last year.  

One of SAI Global's company values (my favourite) is to “Tell it like it is” and that's what I'm going to do by sharing my journey over the last 9 months with you.

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August and have been away on extended sick leave having surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy.

It has certainly been a time of intense reflection on the important things in life and I have learnt far more about the back end of our digestive systems than I ever wanted to know. As a positive, my five year old son and his similar aged cousins love that poo jokes are quite the norm in our family now. I've found that to succeed together and support each other, humour is very necessary.

What really did surprise me is that Bowel Cancer is the 5th highest killer in Australia and that it affects men and women equally in the statistics. In fact the number of people being diagnosed under 50 (I was 40) is increasing dramatically. 

The reason Bowel Cancer has such a high mortality rate is that many of us ignore the symptoms until it is too late. I realized, after diagnosis, that I had been ignoring symptoms for some time and only due to a nasty bought of food poisoning and lack of recovery, did I go to a doctor. (Still very grateful to whoever did not wash their hands in that restaurant - it may have saved my life.) I have included a link to the bowel cancer Australia web site here for more information and awareness.

The positive about this disease is that you can be cured with surgery and then have preventative chemotherapy to avoid secondary spread if caught early. This is how my situation progressed and I am happy to say that I have a really good chance of dying of old age despite this set back.

It also means that now that that process is finished I can begin my transition back to full time work as I am now.  

With all such disruptions, and our industry is going through a fairly major one currently, there are up sides. I have found such joy in spending more time with my family and friends and I received so many beautiful and unexpected messages of support from many parts of the industry throughout my time away. I would like to thank you all for your messages.

In the lead up to the end of financial year, I wish you all a prosperous and busy time and a continued abundance into next year. I really look forward to re-engaging and working to help ensure your ongoing business and personal success where we can contribute.  Succeeding together and celebrating our achievements (another SAI Global value) is just so important. 

Amanda Baker
Head of Industry Development

PS. If any of you would like to know more about how you can help read about Red Apple Day which is taking place on 22 June here.

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