I did warn you all that I had become a bit militant a few days ago, didn’t I? I have not exactly been chaining myself to railings or going on hunger strike but I have been doing stuff. And that, I believe, is the official term.
Yesterday was National Secondary Breast Cancer Day. I put together the above picture for my Facebook cover photo. The pink ribbon with the black stripe is specifically for secondary breast cancer and sold by Breast Cancer Care here. Alongside that I did some emailing. I contacted my MP, the Prime Minister and the minister responsible for Cancer, David Mowat. Writing to David Mowat is easy. Breast Cancer Care have drawn up an email template that can be personalised if you choose. But really, it could not be simpler. Please consider contacting him here. He has already tweeted his support for improving standards of care in secondary breast cancer. But we really need him to honour his word. It is especially concerning given that the Prime Minister appears to have no understanding of the condition as shown by this clip from PMQs on the 12th October. Hence my email to the Prime Minister asking that she become better informed. I then let my MP know of both these emails as our meeting for today had been postponed by her office until the 28th October. So, busy busy.
Throughout October, what with it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all, I have been regularly changing my cover photo on Facebook and adding details about various aspects of breast cancer. The rationale behind choosing my cover photo is that Facebook gives me no option but to have this set to public. It is therefore possible for it to be shared widely without the need for tampering with my personal settings. If you use Facebook, please feel free to check out my pictures and share them. I want to educate as many people as possible about different sorts of breast cancer, so that they are more aware than I was at my point of diagnosis. I want to urge people to check their breasts regularly, to use text alert services like CoppaFeel’s to remind them, to attend mammograms when they are due and to be alert to signs that something may not be right. For this I have even tolerated a bit of pink in my choice of pictures. I am not a fan of the pink obsession. The day I received my diagnosis I was wearing a pink cardigan, sitting in a pink clinic and clutching pink literature feeling like I was already wearing the uniform of the ‘club’ I did not want to belong to. I have not worn that cardigan since. However, I will concede that the pink association with breast cancer is inextricably linked and from a fundraising point of view it provides instant recognition. Therefore, I am doing my best to grit my teeth and get over myself. Some day soon I will host a NOT pink fundraising event where those sporting pink will be fined – all in the name of Breast Cancer Care.
While on the subject of fundraising, I am working of a line of jam which will be sold to raise money for Breast Cancer Care’s Not Second Rate campaign. It will, of course, be Not Second Rate Jam! More of that another day.