Just dont ask me to wear pink, OK?

It's impossible not to know its breast cancer awareness month, with national landmarks fabulous in pink. Journals full of stories of women impacted on by breast cancer and numerous news items. And I am remembering that last year I began to feel a little overwhelmed by it. Bizarre given my job , but true none the less. And I notice in me a reluctance to wear pink , almost as I am surrounded by it, it's my last way to say this doesn't define me.

And as read others blogs and tweets on the subject I hear their own frustration. One in particular made a special plea to remember in the middle of all the pink awareness, that breast cancer isn't a pink and fluffy disease it's hellish and hard and steals lives for too many people. It's not I'm sure intended, but the constant awareness raising , without the balance of understanding the real impact , has the effect of perhaps disenfranchising those its meant to help.It's hard to escape it and sometimes you just need to.

So I have worn red and purple too this last week. Pink isn't the colour of anger or distress and that's what I feel when I see the evidence of lives shortened, families struggling, poor care or inequalities in outcomes for people.And its those emotions that drive me to do what i do.....just don't ask me to wear pink, OK?

This week as well ,the Robert Burns statue at Kilmarnock Cross was given a bit of a makeover in support of the detect cancer early national campaign to make women more aware of the different signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Images of real women’s breasts exhibiting the different signs of breast cancer were placed on the local monument this week to raise awareness of the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign amongst people in Ayrshire.

All good I hear you say, but lets be honest it’s caused a wee stushie!( NB Scots for a row!) Because the Bard himself was shown with these images and there are those who fear it dishonours him in some way.

Now in January on Burns night I wrote a blog when I plagiarised him terribly in my poem “Tae a Breast” I did apologise to his memory but pointed out as well, he was aye one to appreciate the subject matter! And let’s not forget we are still constantly bombarded with images of naked breasts in the media, except this time it is to help save lives. Using iconic Scottish images and celebrities is helping this ground-breaking campaign to maintain momentum and
i say, well done!

So perhaps this is a small case of “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, ganging aft agley.” But would the Bard himself have had a bit of a laugh…I think so... Will it help to reinforce the messages of this vital campaign, to let women know that breast cancer signs and symptoms are more than a lump and ultimately save lives….yes it will.

So lets not be too “Holy Willy” about this and accept that if we want to stop 1,000 women a year in Scotland alone we need to be bold. The detect cancer early campaign is that and its also saying clearly to women “ Don’t get scared, get checked.” It may have caused a bit of a storm in a "D" cup ( thanks to my colleague Myles for that pun!)but in my view its worth it.

Reasons to be cheerful:My friends daughter had a baby this week. She is simply beautiful and i got to go to see her today! a real joy. And Cara is thriving, full of cheek and intelligence.We had to wash her finally and she was unimpressed at first but she does smell better, thankfully. Now, does anyone know how to stop dogs trying to eat snails? ( don't ask!)


  1. There is so much in this post, Audrey. This is something very close to my heart, living in a place where there is no pink marketing at all, limited levels of accurate awareness and limited access to treatment. So many contradictions around the world on this. I am working on a blog post just now, but even that is full of contradictions!


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