Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Laura: BRiC for Breast Cancer Awareness


Good morning Today is Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day and I can assure you, I’m very aware.

My first surgery to remove a primary breast cancer tumour was September 2001, my second surgery to remove a primary breast cancer tumour was September 2004 and the third time I was told, “I’m sorry, it’s not good news” was December 2007, aged 40 when I was given the devastating news that I had secondary breast cancer, also described as advanced, incurable, metastatic and Stage 4 where the cancer has spread to other organs and/or the bones and is no longer curable.
In the whole of October, there’s only one day dedicated to secondary breast cancer - October 13th; one day to acknowledge the only form of the disease that will kill you.
There’s a coloured version of this photograph but I’ve chosen to use the black and white version to emphasise the fact that not everything about October is pink.
In amongst all of the awareness raising during Pinktober, which is how many of us in the breast cancer community refer to it, take a moment to remember the 11,500 women and 85 men who die every year from secondary breast cancer. I’m smiling because I’m still here but I cry inside for the many, many friends I’ve lost to this disease; the people who didn’t get to see their children grow into adults as I’ve done, the people who were somebody’s daughter or son, the people whose cancer drugs stopped working.

31 people in the UK die every day from secondary breast cancer. It’s the biggest killer in the UK of women aged between 35 and 50. (Based on figures from 2017).
If you’ve read this far, thank you so much. I’ve got so many people to thank and so many things that I’m grateful for. Thank you to everybody in the breast cancer community space who campaigns for change whilst living with this disease daily. You are not forgotten. You are all amazing. You are unsung heroes. What you do now, others will benefit from in the future. This post today was inspired by

@metupuk @make2ndscount @maryhuckle @clairybobs1 @katsiaj and so many others. Thanks also to @aphroditephotography2019 who changed my view of me.
- Laura

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