Wednesday, 30 September 2015

It turns out I have some explaining to do........!

I don’t really know where to start… the last couple of days have been a whirlwind to say the least and the media train shows little sign of slowing down. When we took part in the shoot back in July I had very little hair and even less of an idea about just how popular this campaign would become.

Those of you who know me best are more than aware of my ongoing determination to do something positive with this experience; be that encouraging other women to be more pushy with their Doctors or simply offering encouragement to other ladies who may be going through a similar experience. Earlier this year, a very lovely friend forwarded me a Facebook appeal from Breast Cancer Now who were looking for models to take part in a campaign that they were designing with a retail partner. Little did I know that the retail partner in question would turn out to be my employer nor that 2 months later I would be inundated with messages from colleagues across M&S as they recognise my bald head in shop windows! 

The experience has been too emotional to put into words. The shoot took place on my final day of radiotherapy and I could not think of a better group of people to celebrate with, all of the other women in the shots have been affected by the disease so could instantly relate to the emotions that I was feeling, I think it brought everything back which is why there were so many tears on the day but Rosie, Amanda and the M&S Team treated us with such compassion and dignity that we were able to enjoy the moment together and I think that shows in the images that were shared with the world yesterday.

I’ve spent most of the day writing guest blogs and dialling into interviews with the likes of The Sun as I travel around Aberdeen trying (in vain) to concentrate on my day job. I have no idea how big this is going to get but it has become clear that the blog is resonating with many people on a very personal level and that means so much to me.

We must never lose sight of the fact that this fight against cancer is far from over. We need people to see past the pink fluffiness and photos of us in our pants to recognise what needs to be done to stop people dying from this disease. My motivation is to help to raise £13million so that 9,000 women can be saved every year, it’s also to try and ensure that Erica never has to face this wretched disease but even more than that it’s about the wider cancer battle…

I have been called brave and inspirational but I have simply done what every other mother/wife/daughter/sister would have done in the same situation - everyone wants to survive, let’s try and make sure that fewer and fewer people are put into this situation in the first place.

This blog and my part in this campaign is dedicated to my amazing 2nd Cousin Jamie who is a million times more inspirational than me and to the gorgeous Catherine who lost her epic battle at the weekend and was the ultimate example of someone who fought cancer with grace and a smile.