Open your eyes

breast cancer awareness

Yesterday evening I was a guest speaker at an event ‘Women at the Brink’ hosted by Jennifer Hartstone of the Shabby-Chic Clothes Agency. Jen organised this event to promote her business and also raise money for the UK charity Yes to Life who help cancer patients (and who helped me during my treatment), and she invited me to speak at the event. Thank you Jen for the opportunity.

I talked about ‘What do you really know about breast cancer?’ Based on my increasing knowledge of the subject, I wanted to raise ‘awareness’ of some truths about breast cancer that we don’t always get to hear. Although yes sometimes I am bored of the subject too, and wondered whether my specialist subject could be gardening or knitting instead. However I still enjoy talking about my opinions and changing people’s perceptions about breast cancer. For the event I produced a limited edition of a small book – The little book of BIG FACTS about breast cancer.

Wonderful though the internet is I’m not able to share the book in the delightful book format, including pink ‘ribbon’ closure detail – which can be ripped or slipped of depending on the feeling of the recipient –  however the text of the booklet is reproduced here:

Awareness?

You’re aware of breast cancer, right? You know someone who’s been treated. Your friend, your mother, your sister, your aunt, your daughter… too many women, and small though increasing numbers of men.

There are factors associated with increasing risk of breast cancer and certain factors that decrease the risk of breast cancer, but we do not know how to prevent breast cancer.

In the UK in 2008 nearly 48,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 12,000 died from the disease. Continue reading

I want more

Nearly October. Autumn is here.

I was looking back through my recent blog posts and thinking that it actually looks like I’ve been having a good time lately. And yes, I suppose I have. But I recognise that they are good times. There’s plenty of other times when I’m worrying or being annoyed about the admin of sorting out medical appointments – yes, still. But on the whole, mostly, this summer has been good for me. And I’m glad.

And now it’s autumn. The evenings are noticeably shorter and cooler now, the curtains drawn before 8pm. The leaves are turning. And soon it will be October.

Ah, October. Breast cancer awareness month. You’d think I’d like that wouldn’t you? What with wanting us to eradicate breast cancer forever. Well, yes awareness is good. But awareness of what? That there are so many pink charities and pink events out there that if you contribute to one of them then you’re helping us, people like me. That we’re nearly there – winning the war on breast cancer. Well, actually, we’re not. Continue reading