Thursday, 27 September 2012

Reflections ... in the mirror

On Thursday especially, I take a moment to reflect on the past week.

I can't remember where I found this ...what do you notice ?

What were my up or down moments ?

What comes to mind ? 

I don't want this to just be a cancer blog, while the 'journey' is very much all consuming right now it is just a part of my life. I don't want pity or sympathy , though I appreciate genuine support and your encouraging comments.

I've had a good week this week. Three weeks on the roller-coaster rolls around so quickly and my next Chemo cycle #4 is tomorrow. It is the last of Chemotherapy round #1, and the last chemo I will have in Sydney. I know what to expect and that makes it easier - the next week will be hard but I'll get through to the other side in a week. I start round #2 in 3-4 weeks at my local Cancer Care Centre.

Today, I have a review with the oncologist {or I think the registrar}. I will ask about my health supplements and a few other things I have on my mind.

I've been doing an immense amount of reading about building yourself up and moving forward , not dwelling on the negative; about taking chances and using my diagnosis to build a better life for myself.

It's overwhelming and one book actually tells you to stop and take a break at the end of some chapters. Another recommends you don't do it all at once.

I am thankful that I have choices and if I want to do this, I need to 'bust' my a s s to get it.

Tomorrow morning, Lily will measure me up for my wooden legs breast prostheses and new bras. I am looking forward to that. I will also ask her about specialised swimming costumes.

I still struggle with my self-image and looking in mirror definitely brings me down. I am losing my eye lashes and my bushy brows are thinning ...I should be a little grateful for that. I tell myself it is temporary and it is.

I went to a blog event Tuesday . I nearly didn't go because I felt so ugly awkward and I had nothing right to wear. I wanted to wear my red hat but I knew the white light reflecting from the back of my head would be blinding. ;) I wore a beanie instead :( - I couldn't risk getting sunburned, my head hasn't seen the sun there since I was a bald 2 yr old.

I am glad I went because I really enjoyed the day with my sons and nephew . I got to say hi and chat to blogging friends and meet up briefly with Lani from Western Australia, and another Sydney friend.

What are you thankful for this week ?


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Joel meets Jamey - the amazing fire-juggler on a 12ft high unicycle

Jamey Mossengren - Circular Quay Sydney- trust me I'm a World Champion

Whoa - that's Incredible 12ft - 3.5m high Fire Juggler

We stopped to admire the expertise of world champion unicyclist Jamey Mossengren as he juggled a fiery torch and knife atop his towering unicycle - Joel earned his first $10. I found him on Facebook too.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

{Christmas 2012} The Christmas Photo Caper

You know 'that' photo I plan to take for a Christmas gift and the Christmas cards but I always leave it till the last minute - well not this year.

I've got a dozen few ideas . My friend Tiff from Three Ring circus is the Queen of Christmas Photos.

I might some help to choose ...
this one  ! It says my cheeky boys all over.

I like this simple one too

 Ron Putnam Photography
This Photo

What inspiration can you give me ?


Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Choice

Life has been fragile , frantic and mostly mundane. I woke in the early hours last night , as I did the night before, and the night before that filled with negative thoughts and of people disappointments.
My nights days are interspersed with joy and optimism as well as darkness and pessimism at losing control on the roller-coaster of treatment , appointments and nasty side effects.

Today, I'm working hard to choose not to dwell on the people and things disappointing me. I'm biting my metaphorical tongue and I won't over share the negative.

Making me thankful today ..

# Our local library / librarians who are ordering a book in I inquired about today - immediately , I didn't even have to ask.

Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer.

A special friend sent me a link to it . It will help me gain back a sense of control as I learn more about breast cancer and also much about the healing power of nutrition in the healing of breast cancer.

# Last Friday I was feeling very unwell and vomiting. It wasn't nausea and vomiting related to the chemo exactly more likely a bug I picked up because of reduced immunity.

I knew I was getting a bit dehydrated from not tolerating even water , so I finally decided to head into the hospital about 10pm which meant taking sleeping boys , who stayed fast asleep , with us. Hub dropped me off at the door to emergency. When I knew I was staying , I sent him a message to send him home.[Hub took the boys back to the other farm and returned at midnight to see how I was]

As I also had a temperature above 38 ° I had a very swift trip straight through triage and into an isolation bed. This is because having chemo reduces your ability to fight infections and I could have had sepsis- which is life threatening. It wasn't thankfully. The treatment was outstanding.

Most especially was meeting in emergency, by coincidence , Nurse Z - is the partner of  Y, a friend of an online forum friend, X from Newcastle (did you get all that  Y & X were nursing colleagues too. I have never met any of them) - Z, is a Breast cancer survivor (She recently finished radiation). We were recently linked on FB due our common denominator , country town location and breast cancer. Though we had never met, it was a 'CLICK' I know you ! moment when we saw each other.

I am so thankful Z was my nurse and was caring for me - kindly - and slipped her hand into mine so I could crunch squeeze her hand when they accessed my port for the IV. [Yes, it hurts briefly when they stab you with a huge short , bent , needle in the chest - when you have no local anaesthetic patch before hand - She knew because she had a port with her treatment].

ps that is not my chest I am not that hairy :)
Some of the nurses in the local hospital also wear Hot Pink hospital 'scrub' shirt uniforms with the pale pink breast cancer ribbon embroidered on them [ I know it is for Breast Cancer awareness] .

Z's - shirt had "Feel your boobies". I know it made me laugh too , when I feeling very crappy ordinary .

Even the Drs were very attentive and listened carefully. The Xray guy was very kind too.

I was so grateful to go home the next afternoon. I love my own bed and home, and I know home is safer than a hospital filled with germs and sick people.

# Today, I also received a gorgeous letter via snail mail from a lovely reader, K - and the envelop was filled with smile postcards. So I can pay it forward ...and I will.

I know that it was a very simple random act of kindness that brightened my day.

What are you thankful for this week ?
What do you know this week ?


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Big Boys and their toys

"working together to get the job done ..."
"Boys are found everywhere... on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to. A boy is truth with dirt on its face... "Alan Marshall Beck
"boy (boi) n. a male child, lad, youth, not yet a man, often a magnet to dirt, toys and adventure."

Have you entered Ben 10 Live Time Machine stage show school holiday - giveaway - new locations and family passes added

Ps We were digging holes for a new Septic and grey water tanks.

He did what ?

Since our twins were born we have pretty much lived on a combined single income, even though we have our own business we couldn't justify it.

Over the past few months, I noticed that there are many blogs with many saving ideas included in daily tidbits.My new aim is to spend some time each day engaged in some sort of activity intended to cut costs and live more sustainably.

I haven't done a good analysis yet on the latter. Starting next month, and at the end of the month I will start tracking all our spending and efforts. I hope to see the results of that effort and especially see a reduction in our grocery a few months.

I realise the concept of frugality and greener living is not for everyone because it is time-consuming.I believe it could take as little as 15-20 minutes a day to start seeing some serious benefits from tracking your spending and being more careful . In time they should be big enough benefits that they start making a real impact on your yearly budget.

Some days it is still a struggle because my husband is a spender and prefers to take the easy road rather than extra time to save a $1 or $2.

So what can I possibly do in 15 minutes that could save money? Here are 10 simple tasks anyone can do in 15-20 minutes.The savings add up over time. if you have suggestions of your own ? please add them

1. Buy in bulk , prepare a few meals in advance and keep them in freezer for easy cooking later on those nights you might be temped to buy takeaway. Planning a weekly menu (really only takes 15 minutes ) can cut down on the grocery bill. Cooking in larger batches uses the same energy. Freezing in smaller portions means you only take out what you need.

Plan around the weekly specials .Knowing what you are going to make in advance makes it a lot harder to skip cooking for a night out because you "don't know what to cook". Keep a record of leftovers in the fridge, or freeze as single portion meals - then when you have enough - the family can choose their favourite TV dinner - saves having food that never gets eaten because it was forgotten in the bottom of fridge and goes bad before you use it or good food going to the dogs.

2. Write a grocery list (and stick to it when you shop or shop online if it available in your area) especially from the advertised weekly specials.Stock up on non perishables when they are on special and items like toothpaste/razors etc.

2. Go shopping in the evening (leave the kids at home- no temptation to buy treats to keep them quiet) and often bakery items like bread/rolls and meat are reduced. Buy them in bulk and freeze.

3. Check the air pressure in your car tyres including the spare, and maintain appropriately. This will save you money on fuel, tyre tread and keep you safer.

4. Hang clothes up to dry on the line instead of using the clothes dryer. Use racks to air clothes first then finish in dryer when you have to. I am fortunate we can hang clothes out on the line to dry - except the stupid dogs have taken to tearing them off the line and playing tug of war till they are confetti.

I really got fired up one day when my new favourite shirt was torn - hubby copped it because he hadn't tied the dogs up {or moved the clothes line as I suggested outside the internal yard fence - hello we have 1000 acres}. One day I noticed my favourite Pj's missing. I thought they must have been left in Sydney ... last week while tidying up outside I found the bottoms surreptitiously stuffed in the back of an outside storage cupboard - the top is ??? I let him off the hook this time because they are just Pjs' o_O ...and he has been so stellar in helping do more a fair share of housework during my treatment.

5. Instead of takeaway night make your own meal 'takeaway' at home - especially if your kids like this meal style - your own burgers and pizza are likely to be healthier as well. Get kids to participate in the preparation as fun learning activity. A modest $20- $30 a week saved equals $1000 - $1500 in a year.

6. Check through all the electrical devices you're not using in the house - turn them off at the switch when not in use. Invest in a master switch. Borrow a device to measure how much power they use. Read more about lots of ways to save energy

7.Use 1/2 normal washing powder in lightly soiled washes and wash clothes in cold water. Only run machine will full loads. The sun helps to bleach stains and a bar of soap and elbow grease works wonders too.

8. Governments across Australia offer a range of rebates and other assistance to help you to live greener. You may be eligible for a number of these. See if you qualify or for any  rebates available

9. Plant seeds/seedlings to grow a small vegetable garden - it's fun and healthy activity for the kids too. Even if it just pots of herbs - they can cost $2-3 a bunch, to use once in cooking. Recycle all waste for the compost.

10. Go through your excess stuff , sell off clutter and things you don't need or use anymore on eBay or trading post (It is free to advertise online for items under $500) and try your local area Facebook buy , swap and sell groups. Before we moved I sold 2 racing car beds, kid's play-gym and toys, a parenting book . I made over $300 through a Facebook group and 30 mins cleaning up the items.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

What I'm really counting down

So, I am confused exactly how many days till Christmas - on Friday a few Christmas clocks told me 101 , that makes it 99 today officially~ but if I do the maths and listen to others it is 100 days.

Anyway you count it ,  the days, hours, minutes and seconds are ticking fast by but thankfully there is still plenty of time to write a letter to Santa.

Me, I am really counting down till the end of my Chemo - if my treatment dates go as planned I'll start the next round of 12 cycles on October 22nd - so Christmas Eve, day , I'll have cycle #14 and then I'll only have 2 more cycles to go.

We will be most likely celebrating at home with a simple country Christmas this year because of my treatment . I can't wait to decorate our huge pine tree and gum trees outside. It won't be a white Christmas ...

I don't want to feel overwhelmed during my three month treatment so , I am trying going to be prepared this year . I'm definitely using the Organised Housewife's planner , Pinterest and I'm joining in with Tina's linky and following the links along for all the best tips and handy hints. Tina has an extensive list already for me to browse.

Are you excited about Christmas ? Have you started shopping ?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Things I know ...101 days to Christmas

One of the things I know I enjoy most about shopping online is convenience and choice. I know I won't be disappointed.

I've been shopping online more, recently, to avoid the crowds because of my treatment. It is also much less tiring.

I was asked to try out - online deals direct from Australia's leading online shopping website.

In particular I was asked to review

Toys, Kids & Baby

I choose Lego items to add to our growing Lego City Collection. makes it easy when you want a product in particular. Delivery was quick too.

I'll be using OO. again for my Christmas shopping too...I have everyone covered almost.

Lego Fire Truck             Base Plate                                    Lego Ambulance

Constructing and building is on our school holiday to do list.

I like that  OO.'s  website is very easy to navigate and well laid out - into categories , brands and prices...1345 products - what more could you ask for. Plus the discounts they have on offer are enticing. All without exhaustion having to run from shop to shop. Some deals even have free delivery.

Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing an item in a toy catalogue and going in store to purchase it and find it out of stock or not being able to find it on the shelf or worse trouble finding staff to help me. Buying online also means skipping the checkout line and the lolly nagging.

I am still fussy about what I'd buy online but since has all my favourite and trusted brands I wouldn't be concerned about most purchases. My favourite online items would be Toys, Bedding & Manchester, Kitchen & Appliances and Gifts.

I love to browse the clearance page too... pops up in my hotmail sidebar everyday ; )

I'd highly recommend this site for the best deals direct from Australia's leading online shopping website

Ps they have a new iphone app you can download too

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post - I did receive an online voucher to purchase my items of choice in Toys, Babies & Kids. All opinions are my own.

Things I Know 150x150

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ 12 months ago

 Broken Hill Snippets
Hard to believe it was 12 months ago, this week,we left for our Western Australia Roadtrip -

Planning what to do in school holidays - { Giveaway } - win tickets to see Ben 10 Live Time Machine live on stage.

win tickets

Ten + Diabolical things for kids to do on holidays

1. Plan a holiday photographic scavenger hunt...get the kids input or use the 30 day photo challenges for some ideas. Make it last as long as holidays.

2. A twilight zone sausage sizzle in a park or nature reserve. Grab your forks (tongs) , snags , sauce and bread. Remember torches and insect repellant if it applies.

3. An all day DVD movie marathon , pop some popcorn and stay in your pjs all day. (PS - I've got some DVD giveaways read to go )

4. Get on your bikes or scooters and head down to a bike track somewhere.

5. Take your kids to live stage show or concert , shopping centres run free shows . Have you entered my BEN 10 Live Time Machine family pass giveaway .

6. Boxes, boxes and more what can't you do with boxes free at local Bunnings ...let them use their imaginations and then toss them in bin for recycling.

7.Head to a beach or river even if it is too cold to really swim, paddle in shallows, build sandcastles, fly a kite or throw a ball up ball around.

8. Camp out in the backyard overnight.

9.Have a Lego block building Challenge (PS I've also got a brand Lego Giveaway just waiting for it to arrive)

10. My top tip is to check out what your local area has on offer for free -

Monday, 10 September 2012

Ben 10 Live Time Machine + { Giveaway }

Chances are if you have boys 12 and under you know who Ben 10 is can't escape the phenomena !
My boys knew, before I knew , and they had never watched the cartoons.
Today I have a brilliant giveaway just in time for the school holidays.
Cartoon Network’s BEN 10 LIVE, the internationally acclaimed action-packed stage show, is set to hero up in an ultimate tour to Sydney and Melbourne during the September-October school holidays.

Opening on Friday, September 28, 2012, Cartoon Network’s BEN 10 LIVE: Time Machine shares the spotlight with the premiere of the highly anticipated, brand new animated series Ben 10 Omniverse on Cartoon Network (Foxtel Channel 713). Tickets are on sale now!
Fans of the global phenomenon will witness their favourite characters from three of Cartoon Network’s hit shows – Ben 10, Ben 10 Alien Force and Ben 10 Ultimate Alien – spring into hero-sized action live on stage. Awesome aliens, cool stunts and acrobatics, cutting edge digital effects and loads of laughs make this one cool show that the entire family will want to see again!

Cartoon Network’s BEN 10 LIVE: Time Machine sees alien-morphing hero Ben Tennyson on an adventure through time and space to keep the Omnitrix and the Ultimatrix safe from the clutches of his foes.  Featuring the number one superstar himself, Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max, this action-packed show also includes Ben’s alien heroes Four Arms, Diamondhead, Swampfire, Big Chill and one of his awesome new Ultimate Aliens unleashing their cool powers to save the day!  Fans will also get to see love-to-hate characters Vilgax, the Highbreed Commander, the DNAliens and The Forever Knights.

“Cartoon Network is all about animating kids’ lives and Cartoon Network’s BEN 10 LIVE: Time Machine will have kids jumping out of their seats with excitement as they see their hero come to life in a thrilling production!"

Did you know Cartoon Network’s popular Ben 10 series is seen in over 2.9 million homes throughout Australia and New Zealand.  The brand new series Ben 10 Omniverse also premieres on Cartoon Network on Friday 28 September at 6pm.


Friday 28 September   
409 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW
Tickets from box office 1300 795 012

Saturday 29 September          
108 King Street
Sydney NSW
Tickets from Ticketek 132 849

Tuesday 2 October     
Monash University Clayton Campus
Wellington Road
Clayton VIC
Tickets from box office 03 9905 1111

Thursday 4 October    
750 Mount Alexander Road
Moonee Ponds VIC
Tickets from box office 03 9243 9191

Friday 5 October              
50 Little Malop Street  
Geelong VIC
Tickets from box office 03 5225 1200

Saturday 6 October           
191 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC
Tickets from Ticketmaster 136 100


Four Family Passes (4 tickets per pass) worth $196 (per pass), 

2 passes to the 10am show on Saturday 29th September -
Theatre Royal, Sydney 

2 passes to the to the 10am show on Saturday 6th October - 
Regent Theatre, Melbourne.

Update :  extra giveaways

Alexander Theatre, Monash Uni, Clayton
Tuesday 2nd October @ 3pm   ($116 per family pass of 4 tickets)

Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds
Thursday 4th October @ 3pm ($116 per family pass of 4 tickets)

To Enter : Tell me why your Ben 10 Fan (s) wants to see Ben 10 Time Machine Live and/or who their favourite character is ?

  1. Winners will be emailed a Prize Letter with Ticket details to collect Tickets from the box office just before the show. Winner's responsibility to arrive in time to collect tickets and find their seats.
  2. Australia residents only 
  3. Closes: 23nd September 2012
  4. Judges decision is final , no responsibility accepted if show is cancelled or does not go ahead.
 Disclaimer : This is not sponsored post. I received family tickets to the show ,  in exchange for sharing a school holiday idea to do with your children.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Priscilla, Performances and Packages in the Post

I can't believe Thursday has rolled around already.

What makes me thankful today  ?

Today, our boys primary school had their biennial concert. The boys' class performed 'Happy Feet', in cute little Penguin costumes. (Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos at the Theatre but the teacher has.)

They were first up of 19 acts . Every class, including Special Education, performed their act in the local Regional Theatre Centre {$15 a ticket for parents & guests...though tickets we just purchased for another Big Band show for my Father-in-law were $75 each)

Every child was attired in magnificent costumes, performing songs from stage and movie shows. They even had a commentary box with 'David' and 'Margaret' from ABC giving a sophisticated and heartfelt critique of next act. There was enthusiastic dancing and even cartwheels across the stage ;-).

I think they saved the best act till last, "Priscilla" (sans bus)- OMG it was a sight to see. All the girls & boys (Yr5-6 I think) including their male hairy legged teacher in drag dresses , wigs, high heels and makeup. There was roars of laughter and very enthusiastic clapping at the end. I don't know how they talked the boys into it o_O.

I'm so thankful I got to attend and we could change the time of my chemo tomorrow so the boys could perform in both shows. We will drive down to Sydney early tomorrow. The timing was perfect too because I feel best of all this week.

In the post yesterday I received a package from Lily Bliss to you. They are my new memory foam 'boobs' and two soft comfy bras. Lily has helped me so much already and has changed the way I now look at myself in the mirror of my mind ...

I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable with my body again. In some way , I'd be happy to go boob-less and bra-less but there is such an expectation that I conform to the norm.

I roared with laughter yesterday at Eden's vlog, I'm sure you have no doubt seen it.Oh, the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfectly loved.

I'd actually like to skip Friday because TGIF it is not ; I don't want deal with my third chemo tomorrow.

If you are on Facebook - can you take a minute to vote for Lily -under Home services - I'd be most thankful

 Thankful Thursday

Ha-ha -I forgot to be VERY thankful that we get free babysitting tonight because the children are performing tonight from 7pm and required to be at school from 6pm to 8.30pm. We send them to school in PJ's - The theatre is in walking distance to school .

We get to go out for dinner in between ( ~ the evening show is sold out and to be fair to working parents we didn't get tickets to both shows)

The teacher is going to give them a pizza party for dinner after their performance and put them back in Pj's. We just pickup and take them home to bed - how awesome is that.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Toot Toot

Train enthusiasts/spotters, hanging and snacking !

 First Class Carriage all the way for us in private compartment {with a Lavatory nearby}...the others didn't know what they were missing. Though they probably heard and saw the double, double trouble ...with a third set of boy/boy twins from same kindergarten on the next carriage too)
Russell , the Kinder teddy from A's class was most unimpressed at being dangled out the window !

Father's Day Sept 2nd , 2012 , Steam Train Ride aboard the Heritage Express* 1928 Steam Train - 
Dubbo to Narromine - 
PS - Some of the same carriages were used on Cadbury's Joyville Train (Bottom right)

*This is NOT a sponsored post - it was great fun.

Lily was nominated in AMEX Great Service awards - in recognition of the service she provides for women at a very vulnerable time in their lives. 

So if you are on Facebook - Please Vote for Lily De Santis @ LilyBliss To You - Mobile Breast Prosthesis and Bra Fitting Service' In Home Services Category 

Monday, 3 September 2012

The other side of the Pink ribbons

In my journey with Breast Cancer , so far, I had some lovely ladies contact me , women who have experienced breast cancer offering me emotional support & advice ; (including other women who had a mastectomy because they were at risk of breast cancer) and others with more practical offers.

I feel blessed to have crossed paths with them only due to the challenging circumstances in which I now find myself. A silver lining in the haze of stormy clouds and fog.

One of my readers, Meli sent me an email about 7 weeks ago, regarding her sister, Lily De Santis

who runs a mobile breast prosthesis and bra fitting service. She has also read your blog and was very moved. As I help her promote her business, she wanted me to ask you if you would be interested in receiving a free home visit , along with some complimentary products of your choice - she has terrific bras, swimwear and other lovely and practical items. Lily established this business on her own and is dedicated to making women feel great about themselves. She believes a personal, in-home service is the best way for her to provide this.

I have only spoken to Lily by phone and through emails. Lily, after reading my blog post last week , sent me some lovely head scarves to try.

Our first planned meeting , a few weeks ago, was postponed as Lily was unwell and I was at high risk of infections (due to a low white cell count from chemotherapy).

When I get to Sydney, next , she is going to fit me with my new prostheses ( . ) ( . ) and some lovely bras. She even popped some temporary gym ( . Y . ) in the post. I'll need a special swimsuit too that my prostheses will fit into.

Last week , Lily, shared with me her nomination, by one of her clients, for a special outstanding service award via American express Great service quest .They have been searching all over Australia for the most outstanding service professionals. Lily was very excited last week to be advised she was a finalist - 1 of 3 in home services.

Lily's 'kind' of personal home service is very unique and special to women who have or are going through breast cancer , especially after surgery. Imagine how daunting it is to bare your scarred body in front of a stranger ... just the thought of going into a store and ask for a fitting was very emotional for me. 

There was no expectation that I blog about Lily and her services. I am due to have a home visit soon.(at my Mum's home). Firstly , because I live out west and also because they recommend you wait 6-10 after double mastectomy surgery for a proper fitting.

I can't yet share my own battle scars here.They lie across my at chest , from the base my sternum at 45 ° angle one about 17cm long , the other 15cms - extending just below and into my armpits.

Another Breast Cancer friend sent me a link to The Scar project : just to give you an idea of what we are confronted with everyday.

The SCAR Project is a shockingly raw, yet strikingly beautiful, photo series that shows a side of breast cancer we're not used to seeing: the reality."

 Lily's services are also listed on the Breast Cancer Network Australia here:

Have you felt yourself today ?

One of the reasons I am blogging about my breast cancer journey is to raise and spread awareness. I know that reminding people to check their breasts could save their life.

It is healthy habit that should be as much a part of your daily routine, like showering, dressing and looking in the mirror. 

You don't need to wait for a special day, check your breasts wherever and whenever works for you but do it regularly. A minimum of monthly is recommended.

I was always a little Breast Aware but even so I was slack and hap hazard about checking.
I wasn't aware of all the changes to look for isn't just a lump.

Most breast changes aren’t due to cancer - but if you find a change that is unusual for you, see your GP to make sure.

I had 2-3 symptoms at diagnosis - though my breasts were always lumpy. I found this website which tell you what to look for


cheeky check-up A new lump or lumpiness, especially if it's only in one breast.
cheeky check-up
cheeky check-up A change in the size or shape of your breast.
cheeky check-up
cheeky check-up A change to the nipple such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion.
cheeky check-up
cheeky check-up A nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
cheeky check-up
cheeky check-up A change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling.
cheeky check-up
cheeky check-up An unusual pain that doesn't go away.
cheeky check-up

I had 2-3 symptoms at diagnosis - pain, discharge on squeezing (because I had pain) and my breasts were always kind of lumpy. I did see my GP immediately, both times I had nipple discharge. May 2011 it wasn't breast cancer (that I know).

How do you reduce your risks ? 

I had no family history .
I breast fed for over 4 yrs .
I have never been overweight.
I'm active and I've had a reasonably healthy diet with only a little alcohol consumption.

How do you calculate your risk based on evidence ?

 I didn't know that an inherited faulty gene only accounts for 5% of all breast cancers. Even then breast cancer is so common that it need not be a faulty inherited gene that causes BC within the same family.

I thought it couldn't happen to me , though I've had several mammograms and ultrasounds despite that misguided belief...just for reassurance.

So have you felt yourself today can never be too busy !

Cheeky checkups is a campaign aimed at younger women because mammograms and ultrasounds are apparently less effective at detecting breast cancer -

Like further information, visit
This not a sponsored post I am just continuing in my quest to remind everyone how important it is.