Monday, October 10, 2011

Personal Post for BCAM

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). 

Is there anyone reading this who hasn't been touched by cancer at one point or another? I highly doubt it. For me, it's been my Dad (died aged 49 from bowel cancer), my Uncle (died aged 64 from liver cancer) and my Nana (died aged 86 with breast cancer). Because this is breast cancer awareness month, I want to talk a little bit about my Nana. Her name was Brigid Cassidy. 

Me & Nana, circa 1988
The cancer started in her breast and spread down into her spine. They reckoned that she'd had symptoms for years but done nothing about it. By the time they'd discovered it, the doctors could do nothing - it had spread too far and she was too old to risk any operations. I watched her deteriorate, change from my lovely strong, independant Nana who would tut at you if she caught you sitting down when you "could be up doing something", to a shell of herself - a shadow. She had a long, happy life, but I've always thought that it was so unfair. I hated the attitude that some people had - as if it didn't matter, because she was in her 80s. She was still MY Nana. The woman who'd been there for me my entire life. I was angry for a long, long time - not because she died OF cancer, but because she died WITH cancer. This horrible... thing that settled in and took her over. Towards the end, that's all anyone could see - the disease. Not my lovely Nana. Not the woman who had stepped in when my parents separated and became our second parent - I often describe her as the best Dad anyone could ever have. She made sure that I would grow up to be a strong, independent woman and I'm so thankful for that. She made sure I knew how to do everything from wire a plug to bake a cake. She was amazing.

I had a little scare about two years ago - everything was fine, it turned out to be nothing, but in those two days that I had to wait to see a doctor, I realized finally what my worst nightmare was. Leaving my son. Cancer is something that we need to get rid of - we need to help find a cure. This is where you come in.

Firstly, for the ladies reading this, check your breasts. Do it today. If you're not sure that you're doing it properly, then read this post here, it shows you exactly what to do. Take note of one of the first lines - it's 15 minutes a MONTH, girls. That's nothing. I've often sat looking out the window for 15 minutes. Do it. 

Secondly, it's not just breast cancer that you need to be aware of. If you've never had a smear test, book one now. I don't know how it works in the U.K., but for Ireland, you must register with For those of you who don't want to have a smear, ask yourself why. Are you afraid? From what I can remember, it takes a kettle longer to boil from scratch than the actual smear process takes. Close your eyes, grit your teeth, do it. It's seconds. 

The third thing you can do, and it's something you can do right now, is visit Nicoletta's Blog. Read this post about Nicoletta's lovely Mum. If it leaves you wondering what you can do to help, like it did for me, then do this: Go to and make a donation. You can use PayPal, and you can donate anonymously if you prefer. There is no set amount to donate, you can give anything from £2 to whatever you can afford. Every small amount adds up, and it would be brilliant if we could all help to smash this target of £1,000 for Breast Cancer Campaign. Also, when you donate to Nicoletta's cause, you'll be entered into a draw on her blog, where you can win all kinds of amazing prizes donated by brilliant companies who want to help. Here's her post about the event:

If you do one thing this October, then do something to support the fight against breast cancer. And please, for heaven's sake, check your breasts. Do it today, then set a reminder on your phone to do it again in a month's time. Please. 

S xx


  1. Thank you for posting this post. As someone who has had a close family member suffer at the hands of breast cancer, it is an ugly ugly disease. Take care hun xx

  2. Thanks Sunshine Rose, it's an awful disease, hope they find a cure for it soon. Thank you for your lovely comment xxx


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