Today is the first day of October and I think the world has gone mad. Now that is a strong statement coming from me. With me being a self confessed mad woman that you either hate or love. Well firstly for madness is that I am back to doing my normal mad things of doing everything I bloody shouldn't. Well; a bit over exaggerated, but I did cheat in the wine department. I am going to blame this bit on the medication, but I got my dates mixed up and for days lounged around the sofa, hugging a bottle of wine, getting friggin bloody excited at the thought of being able to drink it, only to be disappointment when it appeared that I had more antibiotics left than I had bargain for. It was only a day early but ok, I cheated and had poured myself a glass of wine, while i still had 2 doses of anti’s to take. Oh come on, I have gone months without a drop and I have been really good, so a small glass (which it was) wasn’t going to hurt. In fact it had the most amazing reaction on me. I had the best night’s sleep I have had in ages, totally undisturbed. It was a snoring in heaven experience that I woke up the next day feeling pretty good and itching to get out of the house and climb mountains. Don’t worry, I have been good and have been spending this last week, relaxing and getting myself ready for this week’s chemo and appointments at the hospital, starting tomorrow with my super duper Mr Pain Doc at the Hospice.
Anyway enough about me and my wine antics, back to why I think the world has gone mad.
For weeks now the world has been turning into a beautiful colour of pink, with large and small corporations and companies looking forward to making money based on fear that lurks in the hearts and souls of every woman. But breast cancer isn’t beautiful as portrayed by the colour, nor does it only target women.
Breast Cancer is the second biggest cause of death from cancer for women in the UK, but the good news is that survival rates are improving, which is probably down to more targeted treatments, earlier detections and better breast awareness. Unfortunately the downside is that the number of people being diagnosed is increasing
Everyone is on the case today, there are new advertising campaigns about breast cancer awareness and none stop talks about the subject, but all of them seem to be focusing on one thing and that is the TLC (Touch, Look, Check), to find anything that looks or feels unusual. But to me breast cancer awareness means much more than just checking, or getting your partner or next door neighbour if you like to check your boobs. To me it’s about the emotional aspect of it, the feeling deep inside when finding a lump, the emotions everyone has when hearing them dreaded words ‘you have breast cancer’ and the emotions of getting through treatment with the hope that you can beat the fooker, only to be followed by the fear of it returning.
I’m not saying that I am against awareness campaigns that have been released I applaud and welcome them. But surely, shouldn’t there be some sort of emotion attached to them. The picture of Mel B with her husband cupping her breasts to hide her modesty as caused a lot of discussion. I am all for that sort of thing but didn’t she have a boob job at some point in her life. (correct me if I’m wrong) but if that’s the case, them I am sorry, but I find it rather insulting; as I have implants, never chose them, would never have chose them and have some bloody nasty scars to go with them. If she hasn’t had a boob job, then I apologise and say good on ya Mel and nice tits. But getting back to emotion, wouldn’t a poster of a breast cancer survivor have more of an impact for awareness though? A survivor (me me; i’d do it) with her husband stood behind her (not sure he would lol), cupping her breasts/chest with just a reveal of a scar there to show people that this is reality. This is what can happen if you find that lump that they are only telling you to look for. It’s as though the reality of breast cancer is just too much for people to handle and that is why the awareness only stretches from checking yourself and going to your GP and that early detection CAN save lives.
I love the colour Pink and before my own diagnosis, used to have lots of pink clothing, had the typical girly pink bedroom as a child, and at one time in my life, developed a fad that I had to own every single shade of pink lipstick available to compliment my beautiful blonde hair. Personally I feel that too many people are cashing in on the colour, knowing that the ‘Pretty Pink’ colour will attract people to buy goods when they say they are raising funds for Breast Cancer Research and other Breast Cancer Charities. Still this is not a bad thing, if money is donated and depending on how much of the money actually goes to them. I came across a breast cancer bouquet of Pink flowers costing £26 the other day, with a promise of donating 10% to a breast cancer charity; Woopeedooo, 10 bloody fantastic percent, but where does the remaining £23.40 out of every £26.00 go when the usual average price for such a bouquet is usually around £10, yes you got it, it goes straight into their greedy little pockets.
Now my pet hate is the stupid games that people are taking part in, and have tried to include me in, but can someone please tell me how changing a facebook status to ’10 inches’ can actually raise awareness for breast cancer, when in the chain letter it states that it’s for women only (bit of sexual discrimination going on I think) and also not let on what it means even if asked. These games and I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but they are bloody downright infuriating. If you want to raise awareness, then do it. Write on your bloody status ‘be breast aware’ or something, cos writing your shoe size or similar is not going to do it.
Also being breast aware does NOT only apply to October. Sorry everyone, but lumps, dimples, leakage rashes and nipple changes can also happen in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, November and December. I am proof of that cos I found mine in the month of March. And you know what? 2 weeks prior it wasn’t there.
I was always good and checked my breast regularly. I was good in 2006 when I found my very small pea sized lump and went straight to my GP. I wasn’t diagnosed though, I was told I was paranoid and wasn’t diagnosed for another year, but by then the very small pea sized lump had grown to a massive 80mm. Maybe; just maybe if I had been stronger and demanded a second opinion, I wouldn’t be here today writing about my breast cancer. (big possibility, report from an independent oncologist says chances of re-occurance very small) The point I am trying to make is, I knew I wasn’t paranoid, I knew that the lump I had was different to my other usual lumps and bumps that most of us women experience at different stages in a month. So if you feel or see anything, no matter how small, please please get it checked, and checked to your satisfaction. We know our own bodies better than anyone and the earlier you start to examine your breasts the more in touch with yourself you will be. You will know what is and isn’t right for you.
Can you describe in one sentence, what breast cancer awareness means.
My sentence would be ; the heartache and fear of not being around for another year.