Raising money for breast cancer research is very close to my heart. Breasts are not only close in proximity to my heart but in my family having breasts has caused a lot of heart-break and sadness.
Why this event is close to my heart –
My gorgeous Nanny died in 1977 after seven long years of struggle with breast cancer and secondary cancers, she was 57. I didn’t really appreciate what was going on at the time but looking back with older eyes my understanding has deepened. If she had been diagnosed today she would most likely have survived because of the developments in early diagnosis and treatment. In Australia we are lucky to have breast screen buses. They go around to all centres, rural, regional and urban and offer a free mammogram to women 40 years and over every two years. One day about 15 years ago I was in the library where I worked at the time and noticed a bookmark advertising the dates for the bus coming to our town. I grabbed one and gave it to my Mum. I asked her how long ago it was since she was tested, she mumbled something in return like not that long ago. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time until a few weeks later Mum called me to say she had had the test and had to go for more. More tests revealed pre-cancerous cells. To cut a long story short she had the cells removed, needed radiation therapy for several months and now has a clean bill of health [phew!] BUT when the dust had settled we were talking and she said something like wasn’t it good that you got that bookmark for me. I looked at her in amazement and basically she hadn’t had a test for NINE YEARS! Nine years. With family history of breast cancer she hadn’t been for regular tests.
Ladies, we don’t like it but we have to do it. When I go for a mammogram I have to pay extra. Why? For the search fee – my verandah isn’t that big! It’s uncomfortable, it’s a worry waiting for the results but really we have this potentially life saving test that had my Nanny’s generation been so lucky, more Nannies would have lived to be Great-Nannies. Testing reduced the severity of my Mum’s cancer by catching it early. Let’s get tested regularly! The stats aren’t good. One in eight women in Australia will develop breast cancer. We all know many important someones who have fought this battle.
Back to running –
Why not put on a big baggy pink T shirt and run 5kms in 28 degree C heat? The Women’s 5km is a great event. It’s very inclusive and it’s more about being there, having fun and participating. A large number of entrants choose to walk the event. It was literally a bobbing, laughing, smiling group of ladies running, walking and talking through the streets of Launceston. There was a handful of sneaky men too – I saw you, the hairy legs were a give away, best shave them next time chaps 🙂 But they were walking so no extra fast times due to hormones were recorded!
I wanted to hit the 25s today. I didn’t. My unofficial time according to my GPS watch was 27:44. I was a bit disappointed, but then once I recovered from running in the heat the ethos and the reason for the run took over in my mind. I feel proud to have been able to take part in this event with a whole bunch of ladies caring about our boobs, our daughters’ boobs and the boobs of generations to come. Breakthroughs, new developments can only come about by applying funding. I was pleased to be just a little helping hand in the fight against breast cancer today. A big thank you must go to the volunteers at this event. Oh and it was just another opportunity to put on my running clothes and run – unsporty women can run!
Happy running 🙂
PS I lined up with some of the parkrun girls. I’m loving parkrun very much, meeting other runners, they are all so encouraging and friendly. I was very surprised when someone said I like reading your blog. It was very sweet of her to say that she liked it – That made me smile and took the edge of my pre-start nerves 🙂 Nice!