Monday, October 03, 2011
I'm sure you are all aware by now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and right on cue, today I had to go for my first routine breast screening mammogram.
I did have a mammogram two years ago, when I had a cancer scare, so the procedure was familiar. I knew it would be slightly uncomfortable so I swallowed a couple of paracetamol in advance and was in and out of the screening trailer in less than ten minutes. By the end of October I should have the results.
Breast cancer charities are a cause close to my heart. About a decade ago I knew four women, who were all diagnosed with breast cancer within the space of a couple of years. All were mothers in their prime. Two of them are no longer with us.
When my close friend and godmother to Son 2, K, was diagnosed with breast cancer I bought a lovely pink ribbon brooch sold by QVC in aid of Breast Cancer Care. It was sturdier, and more expensive than a breast cancer pin. When K sadly passed away 7 years ago, following a recurrence of the cancer, I wore the brooch to her funeral. I pinned it to the soft pink sweater I was wearing under a black leather jacket. I remember fiddling with the brooch when we stopped in a service station on route to the funeral. By the time we moved with everyone else to the pub, following the burial, it was gone.
I like to think that it fell off in the graveyard when K's husband fell into my arms for a hug as we shared tears together. I want to believe that it is still there hidden in the grass, bringing me closer to K, my friend through university and beyond.
Every year I try to support a breast cancer charity in memory of K, who inspired me to take my writing seriously. If you do just one worthy thing this month, please consider doing the same. Buy a pin, or any one of the special breast cancer items which many high street stores and charities stock. Give a money donation to any cancer charity, if you prefer.
Breast cancer affects so many, men as well as women. It could be any of us next time, but I'm hoping that the test I had today will be clear.
The brooch pictured above, which I may well buy for myself, is available from Breast Cancer Care here.