Breast Cancer Charity Pin

Posted by Elle W. on

Hey guys!

It's been a while since I updated my blog, I've been so busy which I definitely cannot complain about. This post is very personal, and very sad, maybe a little rambling too, but hopefully worthwhile. 

My lovely mum was diagnosed with breast cancer after her very first routine mammogram at 50. She felt no lump, no pain, it was only picked up because of this routine screening. She had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It had spread to her lymph nodes and they were removed too. She was horribly ill from her chemo, but 3 months later she married my stepdad - after 18 years together. I shaved her head a few days before her wedding day which was one of the most bizarre things I've done.

She was a fighter. She was the most positive, bravest person I have ever known. She never felt sorry for herself, she never got angry, she just accepted that this had happened and carried on her life exactly as she always had. She got better! She became a grandmother for the first time. She looked after my son so I could work, while she herself still worked. She raised money for Macmillan.

Then, she wasn't better anymore. Almost 5 years later, they found that it had spread to her bones (her spine, her skull, her breastbone) and to her liver. It wasn't curable anymore, but they were positive that she could still live a good and relatively long life with the help of drugs and bone strengtheners. But then they weren't positive anymore. The mets in her skull were pressing on her brain, it made it seem like she had had a stroke. Still she fought, still she carried on, never complaining, making the most of the time she had. 

Eventually, it all declined. They decided that they couldn't treat her anymore - it would make her sicker. They told us 3 days after Christmas that this was the end of the line. And that's when she finally gave up. For two weeks she declined, and she died 2 days before her 57th birthday. 57 years of life. The same age as her own mother when she died, also from cancer. That means, at age 31, I could also possibly be over halfway through my life. I could also get run over by a bus tomorrow, or live to be 101, but that's by the by. It puts everything into perspective. I don't really sweat the small stuff anymore. I barely even sweat the big stuff. 

You'd think that the day she died would be the worst day of my life. It wasn't. I was relieved. The previous 2 weeks had been the worst 2 weeks of my life. Her decline was not nice to watch. It was awful, worse than awful. Watching someone you love fade away into nothing but a mere shell of the person they once were was almost too much to bear. But during that time, Macmillan were the best. They gave advice and comforted. They even sorted practical things, like equipment. We raised over £1000 at her funeral for them.

So, I decided to create a pin so I could continue on her fundraising. She loved Macmillan coffee mornings and bake sales. I can't cook, I can't bake. I wouldn't be able to even raise 20p selling my own baked creations... However, I can design.

And so here we are. A booby pin. (Click here to buy!) Wear it with pride, and know that 100% of the profits will go to Macmillan Cancer Support - so they can continue the good work they do, and I can continue to carry on my mums legacy in some way. And if anyone asks you why on earth you're wearing a pin with a some boobies on it, tell them why, and tell them that they should ALWAYS check their boobies - man or woman. Tell them they should ALWAYS attend routine screenings, whatever that may be for. Tell them that they should always report any changes to their boobies, or vaginas, or penises or bollocks. Heh. I just said bollocks in a blog post.

Thanks for reading this self indulgent waffling on. You're the best.


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10 comments

  • Oh Elle, Its tragic that you have lost your Mum at such a young age. 57 is far too young to die. It sounds like she made the best of the hand she was dealt which is all any of us can do isn’t it. How lovely that you can use your talents to raise money to help others who find themselves facing a similar fight. Good on you. Fx

    Francine on
  • Wow I have chills all of my body. I bought this pen a week or so ago but I could not stop thinking about you! You are amazing! Hugs from Virginia USA
    Love, Jessica

    Jessica on
  • My boobie pin arrived yesterday and I love it,Macmillan is such a good cause to to raise money for, your story is so heart wrenching even more so because i know this beautiful family this story is about and I know this has been designed from the heart. Your Mam would be so proud x

    Debbie on
  • I love you so much, Beans.

    Elle on
  • Hi Elle,

    Your story is almost identical to mine and I find it comforting that you felt the same as how I did. Sadly I lost my mum aged 46 in 2015 to breast cancer, well secondary breast cancer as it also, like your mums cancer, spread to her spine.

    Those few weeks before losing my mum, I felt almost ill myself. I couldn’t function, I broke down every day, sometimes my legs would literally give way and i’d just collapse. It was seeing my mum so ill and so frail that was the hardest part of cancer I think. And as you’ll know, cancer is not pretty to its victims.

    Your mum sounds like she was an incredible character which such strength and resilience.

    I must agree also with how amazing the Macmillan nurses were – I often felt like the NHS let my mum down, they didn’t seem to care, she was just another patient. However the Macmillan team made my mum, and us as a family feel comforted – they are nurses who know exactly what they are doing and exactly what to say.

    I wish you all the luck with the sale of the pins, what an amazing idea – and I love the design!

    Ashleigh x

    Ashleigh on

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