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Showing posts from October, 2011

A tale of pink smarties and why age shouldnt matter

A large part of the last week was at a party conference. My role there is to engage the politicians with our campaigns, to debate key policies and issues and make contact with the whole range of the delegates to let them know about our work. These conferences are busy, full on experiences with tempting people to the stand (pink smarties helped I am ashamed to say!) debates, fringe meetings and coffee conversations throughout the day. My throat was sore from talking and as for my feet! I knew I had to have early nights to help me survive-boring but true. One particular woman I spoke to not long after I arrived made an impact. She was one of the many we spoke to who had had personal experience of breast cancer. I began to recognise the signs as each would smile and seem to engage a little more than normal, followed then by a shy admission usually of having had personal experience. I found each disclosure touchingly honest and brave. This particular lady told of her treatment seven ye

A game of two halves-and a brthday too!

It was a game of two halves this week. Mojo was peeking out the clouds and busy week ahead but some real moments of celebration to look forward to. And it really did start well with successful meetings and in particular a reception hosted by the Lord and Lady Provost of Edinburgh to recognise breast cancer awareness month and the work of the breast service and research unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. The TV cameras were tempted along with the knowledge that both the Lady Provost and I have been patients of the unit too. It was such a moving evening and a great opportunity to value those who have really made a difference for so many. As always it was about the people. And everyone had a story of involvement-some of them really sad and some a celebration of life too. As again Mike Dixon was key contributor I was able to say he had seen a lot of me this year (in all senses of the word). It raised a laugh and helped me acknowledge the reality without being too heavy.

Evoking the spirit of Braveheart?

Well I have survived the first part of October at least! Breakthrough Breast cancer’s first TLC day was covered extensively in the media and manning the stand in a shopping centre was as ever a fun and at times touching experience. The fine folk of Glasgow-always up for a blether- regaled us with their stories and impressed us with their resilience in the face of diagnosis of breast cancer. As always these experiences reinforce how common breast cancer is and how many lives it touches every single day. The Changing Breast Cancer Event was an outstanding day. It was organised by our small team in Scotland and they did an amazing job. All the input was interesting and challenging. Three women spoke of their own experiences and what they have learned from that. I was to speak after the first of these tales. And as she spoke of how since she had agreed to talk earlier in the year, she has now-ten years on- developed secondary breast cancer, the room stilled and the emotion became palpab

In the Pink?

Well its started Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here! I am taking a big breath before I dive in. It’s a really busy time and all-important month, not just for raising awareness but much needed funds too. This week has key events such as our TLC day and our Changing Breast Cancer conference in Edinburgh. The team have done a huge amount of work to get to this stage so I am up to my ears in reading briefing documents, working out where I need to be and when, AND dealing with the what will I wear dilemma. And the all important question do I really need to wear pink?! What I hear you call? Now TLC day is a no brainer (!), the pink jacket will be donned with pride. But with Changing Breast Cancer I am contemplating bucking the trend and wearing some other colour. This whole dilemma in a way is significant as it resonates with the range of reactions to the pink dominance of breast cancer, which started 20 years ago now with the first pink ribbon. I know for some people, not just the men