Pink October

I wrote this as a comment on another blog but thought I would reiterate my stand on “Pink October” here

” I dont like the over commercialisation of breast cancer awareness but I have noticed that the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is moving away from calling it awareness and have called this ‘Breast Cancer Action Month’  and are targetting raising money to support women with breast cancer and research for a cure and awareness. That is something I can get more behind. As an Inflammatory Breast Cancer survivor (IBC) fighter/survivor: first diagnosed Aug 2008 remission April 2009, regional recurrence October 2009, and back to remission May 2010, I will wear my ‘ no they’re not real t-shirt – the real ones tried to kill me’ or other similar survivor shirts and go to events to raise awareness of IBC in particular. I will also wear my shirts to my university course, and talk to people about my fight – A) to remind them that behind all the pinkness there are real people fighting the disease and B) to educate people that you can get breast cancer that doesn’t show up on mammograms and can develop without a lump as IBC is relatively unknown here in New Zealand. I sure didn’t know it existed til I got it.”

To reiterate, when I got diagnosed there was no lump in my breast – just threads all through my breast and the nodes in my armpit and above my collarbone were involved . The only warning I got was an itchy breast 2 weeks before my breast blew up with the course of a day (it looked fine in the morning) to be big red and funny looking very similar to the second picture on this page except even redder and more puffy looking. I had a slight ache a couple of days before but had put it down to being ‘that time of the month’. I was stage IIIc at diagnosis which is the closest you can be to metastatic without being Stage IV and I could not have got diagnosed any sooner than I did – unlike a slow growing lump IBC is fast growing and undetectable until you get the physical appearance of symptoms. No lump , Doesn’t show up on mammograms, still Breast Cancer!!

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