I spent a good portion of the weekend just gone attending and speaking at a couple of breast cancer fundraisers.
On Saturday afternoon, it was a high tea to raise money for my local BreastScreen Queensland service. BreastScreen which provides women over 40 with free access to mammograms and other screening for breast cancer, with a focus on early detection. The event was a sell-out – I could claim that it was due to word getting out about the guest speaker, but apparently it was a sell-out last year and the year before too. In any case, I got to wear a dress for the first time since my wedding almost 9 years ago, eat some scones and clotted cream (and put leftover clotted cream onto a piece of chocolate slice, and eat that too, because I’m all class), and talk about myself, so there was nothing not to like about the whole event. Because it was the day before Mother’s Day, I talked about what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer when have a young child, and parenting through treatment and beyond.
The audience was interested and attentive, and I was enjoying myself to the point that the jazz hands came out, and I started to look a bit like a tv evangelist. Testify! And pass me the clotted cream.
On Sunday morning, Dave, Hugh and I got up early and met some of our lovely friends to participate in the local Mother’s Day Classic walk/run. The Mother’s Day Classic is held all over Australia, with funds raised donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to fund research into breast cancer prevention, treatment and cure. It was a crisp, gloriously sunny morning, but there is nothing like a sea of smiling faces and pink balloons to warm the heart of someone who’s been on the receiving end of this life-saving research.
As always, every important step in my life is taken with the support of my gorgeous boys (standing front and centre to watch me speak)
and my fabulous friends wearing pink and walking by my side
… or being carried by someone walking by my side
I also got to meet some real life Boob in a Box readers, which was both exciting and surreal. Big shout out to Tina her mum, to whom I awarded a best fancy dress prize before I even knew they were readers!
It’s very hard to reconcile in my mind that the shittiest of shit experiences that is cancer can also bring with it some positive things. But it can and it has – I get to meet people, share my experience, help raise some money, and spread the word about diagnosis and the efforts towards a cure.
And speaking of positive things, I’ve been nominated for an award as part of Kidspot Voices of 2015, which is a celebration of Australian online creativity. I am a tiny, tiny tadpole in the enormous ocean of blogging (whose really shit at analogies because I’m not really even sure if frogs live in the ocean), so to be nominated for these awards is very special. I have no idea who nominated me, but the fact that there is even one person out there who thinks what I do here, playing around with words in my spare time, is worth such an acknowledgement has made me a very happy one-breasted, middle-aged woman.
I don’t expect to win an award, but I’m going to say my thank yous now, anyway. Thank you anonymous nominator, thank you Tina and her Mum, thank you to the beautiful lady on Saturday who showed me she was wearing a wig and told me she felt like my words were her words. Thank you to those of you who read my posts, who help inspire my posts, who comment and email and tweet. Thank you to my husband who told a stranger on an Internet forum that I am an amazing person, and to the random bloke at the walk on Sunday who said he was glad I’m still alive. And thank you cancer, you fucking bastard of a disease that I detest with every fibre of my being, for giving me these opportunities. I wish I never had them, but I’m so glad that I’ve got them.