Saturday, 4 February 2017

World Cancer Day ~ 4th February 2017

4 February is World Cancer Day. It is a day when cancer charities come together to unite to show support, raise awareness and vital funds for life saving research. On this same day last year, we launched our blog, Panning for Gold, with the aim of providing an inclusive platform representing the many voices of women with a breast cancer diagnosis, a space not only for sharing our stories, but for listening and, by listening, to bear witness, and begin to heal.

Panning for Gold has featured women from all walks of life, highlighting the rich and diverse ways we express our resilience, including a model, a runner, a poet, artists, a photographer, a song, ducks, Buddhists and big pants. We learned that even though not all stories end with the words ‘happily ever after', we go on.

Our theme for World Cancer Day 2017 is Celebrating Unity, Embracing Diversity. We will be marking the occasion with a post from Naz looking back on the progress of the Centre over the last 15 months, and by re-posting a selection of blogs from Panning for Gold.

Our a private psycho-educational group offers women with a breast cancer diagnosis a safe space to share their feelings. If you would like to join, please message us here.

Many thanks to Kirsty for allowing us to use this beautiful photograph.

Here is an example of the variety of blogs we have published over the past year:


We were deeply saddened by the news that Jan passed away earlier in January this year. Jan, one of our first members, was a true icon of resilience, the heart and soul of our group. Passionate, kind, caring, bold and beautiful, Jan brought style and glamour with her everywhere she went, even in the most clinical of hospital environments.

Hard as it is to read Jan's words, we wanted to share her blog, 'Learning to live with Metastatic Breast Cancer', which she wrote for our month long feature #pathways2resilience:

Jan was resilient and versatile, even in the dark cloud of adversity that at times covered her thoughts, her heart and her vision. Jan, you were strong, you were brave and beautiful and we were incredibly lucky to know you, to be some of your 'pink ladies,' who we know, meant the world to you. We miss you and are thinking of your beloved George, and your family and friends, always so precious to you.


Today is #WorldCancerDay and to mark the occasion, we are sharing this amazing blog, "Cancer gave me a voice I never had" by Kirsty.
Kirsty was 33 when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Her tumour was 12cm a few months before her wedding. Utterly devastated, she became determined to make herself heard. Inspired by the contributions of younger women affected by breast cancer she started to work with Coppafeel to raise breast checking awareness. She is also an active advocate and adviser to women's lingerie specialising in bras for women who've had mastectomies. Here, Kirsty showcases her passion for photography. Her pictures have made our our hearts melt.


"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time" ~ Thomas Merton
We are thrilled and delighted to re-share this blog, 'I am Now an Artist with Cancer', written by our favourite artist Amanda for #WorldCancerDay
Amanda is an example of the many women who blissfully tried to move on with their life post cancer treatment, to find out 9 years later that the breast cancer was back, this time in her lungs. She shares how living on borrowed time meant she had to make large adjustments to her life, and one of them was to abandon her hopes of becoming a professional photographer. What she decided to do defines her life every day with meaning, purpose and reward. Amanda turned to art, a subject she was passionate about but not 'an expert' as she puts it.
Amanda started experimenting with art, everywhere, at home, at work, in the doctor's surgery, with her dining room finally taking over her art work. She says: My remaining life is more full-filling now. Amanda's art is now amongst the most well-received widely. Her passion and love for the subject can be seen through the delicate and moving drawings and colourful experiences she depicts. Read her story below.
We are in love with your art Amanda!

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