It’s funny isn’t it? The way the world works. I first met Heather at an event we had both helped to organise in 2013. We came together to support a friend who had suffered the most tragic of losses to do the one and only thing we knew could to help – fundraise and shout Matilda Mae’s name from the roof tops. Three years and two more fundraisers for the Lullaby Trust in Matilda’s name later we’ve stayed in touch as friends on facebook, with the odd tweet here and there and the knowledge that someone very special will keep us connected for years to come despite us living at opposite ends of the country. It was down to Heather that I had come to know about Red Shoe photographer Sarah who did such an amazing job of shooting the photos for our charity calendar. Ever since Heather shared her gorgeous pictures & experience on Facebook, I’ve been totally and utterly in awe of Sarah’s work. When Heather stepped in to save the day after someone dropped out of the line up I was so excited at the prospect of catching up. Here she shares her reasons for supporting the Know Your Normal campaign.
I’ll never forget those words…
“I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer”
At that moment I felt like my world came crashing down in one brief moment. Mum sat next to dad when they told me.
Even now, 14 years later, I can still see it all so vividly in my mind. My parents – the ones who are there to protect me – looking so helpless, fearful and unsure…although they tried not to show it.
You never think it will happen to you or someone you love but, sadly, it does. All too often.
My mum was lucky. She found the cancer early…probably thanks to being blessed with breasts on the smaller end of the scale. She underwent a full mastectomy which was a success and following some drugs, all appeared well. Until, just 4 and a half years later, the cancer had returned in her other breast. Due to regular mammograms, this cancer was caught early too. Following a second mastectomy, I’m so happy to say my mum is now cancer free.
Do I check my boobs?
Occasionally. I know I definitely don’t check them as often as I perhaps should, especially given my family history. Maybe it’s because, to put it frankly, I don’t like my boobs. Breastfeeding two children has certainly taken its toll on them. But, you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m proud my boobs served their purpose in life…even if they did take a bit of a battering along the way! I do like to think I ‘know’ my boobs though and so I’d know if there was anything wrong.
That’s what ‘Know Your Normal’ is about. It’s reminding all women to know what is normal for us. Every women should know their bodies inside and out so they can know instantly when there is something abnormal to them. It’s such a simple idea but one that we, as busy women, often overlook. Let’s take time to be in tune with our bodies…it might just save a life and that’s what it’s all about.
The Know Your Normal Calendar is now available to purchase here. At least £5 from the sale of each calendar will be sent to our chosen charities – Coppafeel! & Kicks Count.