Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sponge breasts 'r' us

The quest for perfect breasts (to suture at Monday's surgery workshop, that is) has ended. I managed to make nine breasts out of suture-friendly Ted Stockings (one careful owner) and a pack of 20 Super Bright Sponge Scourers (99p, Trago Mills).  I am so proud of them that I packed them in a special home-made box with mint-green tissue and now they look like a slightly bizarre (but oh so beautiful!) Christmas present. I texted the picture below to Mr A for approval. He's currently in San Antonio but I got a quick reply in the affirmative: Looks good Dr Kelly :). Ace! Roll on Monday!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A look back at 2010

I don't much like the pointless applications that abound on Facebook, but this is one I feel differently about: My Year in Status. I've used FB pretty much all year to record my thoughts and feelings since being diagnosed with DCIS and having surgery as well as musing on the more mundane things in life. I've found it to be more supportive a medium than I ever imagined. I love talking about myself and to myself, and FB is an excuse for unadulterated verbal diarrhoea, which readers can choose to take or leave. In fact, I'll take this opportunity to say to those who chose to take and went as far as to respond throughout all my surgery shenanigans: Thanks. I'm so very grateful, because you helped me feel cared for.

Being able to look back on 2010 in a series of in-the-moment snapshots is insightful: A chance to see how things have changed, and a reminder that coming to terms with that change hasn't been a linear process at all. Most of all I liked the opportunity to edit the year and frame it in a way that is life-affirming and makes me feel proud. I least liked the fact that it wouldn't bloody publish on Facebook despite having three tries, so in the end I gave up and took a screen snapshot. Well. You can't have it all, can you?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Blood not money

Got blood? I'm taking part in a Cancer Research trial called Project Icicle led by local oncologist Duncan Wheatley — and they're looking for women nationwide who don't have experience of breast cancer themselves or in the immediate family (sister/mum/daughter).

Instead of asking for money, researchers are asking for a couple of eggcups-full of the red stuff to help investigate the genetics of DCIS, the early form of breast cancer I had. I filled an eggcup with water so I can confidently add it's a small amount. Honest. All you have to do is mention Icicle to your GP or email Kelly Kohut at

I was on the radio this morning talking about my experience and how the Icicle findings could help spare women the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis in the future. That's what your eggcups can do.

Click here to find out more about the project (about an hour and a half in to the breakfast show; go to 1:32.31). The feature is about 5 minutes long.