What does Breast Cancer Awareness month mean to you?
October, amongst the loveliest months for colour and harvest, is also #Breastcancerawareness month.
I think we all know somebody who is undergoing treatment, had treatment or sadly lost lives to this awful and sneaky illness. We might also know someone who has recovered and is now enjoying life to the full thanks to science and medical advances.
I watched my beautiful mother, Jan, put on her armour and get on the bus to Charing Cross hospital every day for treatment. She walked through the morgue corridor to reach nuclear medicine in those hallowed halls of science.
Every morning she did her immaculate make-up, having laid out her outfit the night before, and she strode out into each new morning, treating it as a job, something to get done. Throughout her treatment, she carried on working, heading off to Piccadilly straight from the hospital every day, and ‘got on with it.’
She once asked me what the single most important #attribute one can have?
That’s quite a big question; she was full of big thoughts and incredible ideas. She was inspirational in so many ways.
Having watched her through so many of life’s immense and tumultuous challenges, I said #COURAGE.
Courage because with courage, we can venture out of our comfort areas and learn strength. We can stand in front of our adversaries and hold our own.
But Jan said #CURIOSITY.
I have thought about this over the years, and only now at 60, do I agree with her.
With curiosity, we discover, roam, set our minds free, experiment, seek, play, draw, write, paint, cook, and ever look for new and better. We persist and we learn because we are curious. Watch a child at play, figuring out quantities while playing with water and buckets, figuring out weights, fastenings, shapes, flavours, likes and dislike. Curiosity.
Jan didn’t fight her cancer with a sword; she fought it with curiosity.
She wanted to understand it, to look at it, to discover its moves and enquire as to its diversity and cunning.
She looked at it under a microscope and marvelled at its beauty.
After many years of happy, healthy living, it came back under a different and more invasive guise; she looked it square in the eye like an old lover, a flame that had clearly never gone entirely out.
But she still marvelled at it. Her curiosity kept her mind sharp, her wit fast, and her thirst for learning ravenous. She never stopped discovering. Her curiosity kept her looking with a keen eye at everything around her.