It is now over a year since I completed what is termed "active treatment". Now I hate to seem ungrateful but however delighted I am to be alive, I would still welcome a head of hair without a bald patch, eyebrows that do not need drawing on each day and eyelashes that reach a lash count in excess of ten.
A breast cancer diagnosis is obviously devastating at any age. Forget chemo-induced puking and hairloss, the issues facing younger women going through cancer treatment go much deeper, but are often ignored and belittled by healthcare professionals.
Hello there is that Miss Purkiss? Hi there Alice, look we've considered your application - well, we know you didn't apply - but we've considered your suitability and we'd absolutely love to offer you the role of cancer patient for 2015/2016. Ahhh, no unfortunately you can't decline the offer.
How could I put myself through 12 hours of surgery, long recovery times, potential complications and not be able to do everything that I enjoyed at the end of it? Would that really be worth it just to have a lump of flesh on my chest which would never be a replacement breast? No.
It is because cabbage contains the chemical indole-3-carbinol that it is particularly valuable for the prevention of breast cancer. This is because most breast cancers grow on the female hormone oestrogen of which there are many types.
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.