October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Australia. It’s also the month in which I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. It hadn’t occurred to me until my husband pointed it out, that the end of the year, and October in particular, generally tends to be a pretty shit time for us. Upon reflection, he is absolutely right:
October 2006 – miscarriage #1
October 2007 – incredibly traumatic, non-stop bleeding during first trimester of Hugh’s pregnancy. During that month, I had no fewer than eight internal ultrasounds (or dildo-cams as we call them in the business). My uterus could’ve started its own youtube channel.
October 2008 – the exception that proves the rule
October 2009 – miscarriage #3
October 2010 – diagnosed with secondary infertility
October 2011 – miscarriage #4 and Dave’s grandmother died
October 2012 – diagnosed with breast cancer
If I was a superstitious type I’d be starting a petition to have October officially removed from the calendar. But rather than giving into the instinct that makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide for the entire month, I am taking back October. I’m going to be sharing stories on this blog from some amazing, interesting and funny women who’ve also had to deal with bastard breast cancer. I’m also going to be sharing my own story in person, at my first ever speaking gig at the Colour of Change luncheon in Toowoomba, in front of around 200 people [gulp], to raise money for BreastScreen Queensland. I’m going to host a morning tea at my workplace, and guilt my long-suffering colleagues into donating money to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, because I am living, breathing evidence that research saves lives. And on 28 October, even though I will be so full of fear that it will take me several minutes to convince myself to get out of my car and walk into the breast clinic, I’m going to have my annual mammogram and ultrasound, because early detection saves lives.
Here’s to you, October.