The loss of a breast, or a scar, the diagnosis, treatment and recovery will mean different things to different women - we are individual, complex, nuanced. I wanted to tell these women's stories and share the brave, sad, painful, moving and sometimes even funny truth. This is how they look. This is how they feel.
A warm welcome to the modern world - or if you prefer, the more anal one, in which the likes of Praxiteles would most likely commit suicide in. It is ...
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let it be more than that. Let it be a celebration of the beautiful women we have lost, the amazing ones who are fighting, the ones who like me are taking actions to prevent breast cancer and of course a celebration of all those who stand by us and with us.
I refuse to accept that today is 'No Bra Day'. As far as Twitter is concerned, 13 October is an official day when people should not wear bras - apparently to raise awareness of breast cancer. The problem is, it seems to be slightly creepy, and also bollocks.
Most breast cancers aren't detected through screening - instead they're found in other ways such as women going to their GP after noticing changes. There's no right or wrong way to check your breasts.
Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month you will see lots of articles awash with pink and telling us all to check for lumps. But when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is a complete shock, you know very little about what to expect and how your life will be affected.
Remember the viral campaign, written about so eloquently here by breast cancer survivor and friend Nicola, that challenged women to 'Hold a Coke Between Your Boobs' and post a selfie of it? For breast cancer, of course. Except, had you had a mastectomy, then, sorry, you couldn't take part.
I read a suggestion that having cancer was a bit like seeing someone you'd rather avoid at a party. As far as you're concerned, you just want them gone. They're there, and there's nothing really you can do about it, so you just have to co-exist together until the end of the party. Then, when the party's over you'll go your separate ways.
If I sound like I'm bitter about it, I am. I'm angry, sad, frustrated and I'm pissed off that I have to make these decisions. I'm pissed off that I can't wear nice lingerie because my new boobs don't fit into any bras. I'm pissed off because I don't have nipples and I'm currently having tattoos done every month, which hurts. I'm pissed off because I have scars that won't go away.
If my mum had this surgery all those years ago I would still have her here to guide me. Instead, I have a memory box full of random items such as an old pill box and her hospital bands. To most people these might seem like junk, but to me it's all I have left of her. Now and then I go and sit on the floor and empty the box and read some of the notes in there and her old diary.
Some people have been heard to say that breast cancer is a "sexy cause. " That too much money comes our way when a cure is more or less a done deal. And yet breast cancer is still the biggest killer of women with 11,000 women a year losing their life to this disease. Our work is far from done.
I felt both lifted and depressed by the appointment at the same time. The doctor was extremely helpful and comprehensive, knowledgeable and interesting, and most importantly, he treated me like an adult.
I could not have had a better mother. I know a lot of people say this, but in my case it really is true. It should be clear how brainy she is and how she wasn't afraid to step outside her comfort zone even at a young age.
This week, the Fund cut a number of drugs from its list because it could not afford to continue paying for all of them. The cuts included three drugs used to treat secondary breast cancer. As you can imagine, there's been a huge uproar about this in my breast cancer community.
I know that most of my female friends and family members hate their bodies to varying degrees in a way that the blokes I know just don't. Not to the same bottomless extent, anyway. And it makes me indescribably sad. How else could we be spending that time?!
Just as each year we proudly wear Poppy pins to commemorate the individuals who fought in battles for this great nation, so too must we remember those who have lost, are fighting and are yet to fight the greatest battle of their lives against breast cancer