Thursday, 29 October 2015


It was 7 years ago today that I was told that almost certainly I had breast cancer and it was expected that the pathology results would confirm this. Exactly one week later they did. And life hasn't been quite the same since.

I remember reading someone who said that it feel that life breaks into a million pieces and when you put them back together again they don't quite fit together in exactly the same way (I've paraphrased that, I think, but that was the gist of it!).  And that is just it.  Life is back together and life is good, but it is just, well, somehow different.

As I enter my season of anniversaries and appointments I will be glad to put the triteness of Pink October behind me and move into November.  Not that October has been all that pink for me as I've managed to avoid it in "real" life, but I will be glad to get back to a more sensible twitter feed.  I have been a bit saddened that a charity of whom I'd thought better has put out such a constant stream of pink trivia.

It has been a lovely golden autumn where I live with a good many sunny days and today's drive to work through the falling golden leaves and tunnels made from yellow trees was absolutely beautiful.  Add to that an airshow or two, some walking and a freezer full of sloes, and October has been pretty good!

Early November brings the NCRI Cancer Conference and with it the positivity of seeing the cancer research community coming together, presenting their research and seeking opportunities. The real work of looking for prevention of and treatment for cancers.

So as I head towards November, I'll bring October to a close with my product nomination - the Pink Scratch card.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Twit, Twit-er, Twit-est

I really should stay away from social media in October …

Generally I love Twitter for the roundup of short snippets it provides ranging across my interests.  Unfortunately once October comes, my Twitter feed is full of pink trivia and photos of people doing ridiculous things, wearing silly costumes and selling rather odd merchandise.  The excuse is "raising awareness" of or fundraising for breast cancer but in reality so much of it trivialises and minimises. Moreover it contributes to division in the cancer community when one group of cancers hogs the limelight.

It isn't helped by the fact that some of the accounts posting or re-posting these can be found posting useful stuff too.

In the last couple of days there have been pink chocolates, alcohol and shoelaces, scratch cards and invitations to text details of pink landmarks; not to mention the photos of people in Very Peculiar Clothing grinning inanely.

Of course, even in October Twitter is a mine of useful information and signposts to interesting events and articles.  Hidden away are things I really wouldn't want to miss from the cancer research and public involvement communities, as well as those completely unconnected with health issues, but I have to work so much harder to find the good stuff.

So here is a photograph of the real colours of October:

Friday, 2 October 2015

October comes round again

It is October; that time of the year when otherwise sensible people seem to think that buying a pink coloured screwdriver promotes breast cancer awareness or somehow will decrease the number of women and men who die from the disease.  It is a time when retailers, some acting in good faith, promote their pink branded merchandise and may even employ slogans that might suggest people are delighted when they, their family and friends receive a breast cancer diagnosis.

As usual I am on the lookout for this year's most tacky or most inappropriate Pink Product, so if you see a contender do post a comment below!

Most readers will know my feelings on the whole Shrieking Pink Silliness, so here I will point towards a few old and new views from other bloggers. My own views can be found in previous October and November posts here in this blog.

Please  -  Think Before You Pink.  If possible, do what you can to be practically supportive to someone you know who is living with or with and beyond cancer - any cancer, not just breast cancer.  Do what you can to support (not necessarily financially) cancer research.

Those of us living here in the Land of New Normal generally love to have fun and to live life to the full but this October, please remember that no cancer is all a pink picnic or a pink wigged giggle and all too many of those diagnosed with breast cancer and other cancers will live or die with or from serious consequences of the disease.

Above all, know the signs, be clear on cancer and have worrying symptoms checked.  Because buying that pink screwdriver will not protect you from breast, or any other, cancer.