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Bee Cancer Aware – Pink October

Bee Cancer Aware – Pink October

As those of you who loyally read these blogs (“Hi Mum!”) no doubt will have gathered, my life’s whole journey is sprinkled with the sparkle of Desert Diamonds. When I look back it is hard to differentiate where my personal life ends and DD begins. All the many adventures, fun, friendships, passion and even the odd tragedy can be marked by a DD moment. That is the gift of doing something that you really love and believe in.

And this month’s blog is no different in that respect. However, on the personal scale of 1 being about (let’s say) your bad day and 10 being mine, this is a 10. It is still fresh and, although I thank God every day I am OK, it is still painful to write. But, I truly believe, important that I do.

Especially in October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


The story starts in 2020.
Like my mum and sisters, I have always been prone to the odd lump and bump in the boobs. I had no reason to believe that the niggling little lump I detected was any more than just that: a pesky little lump. As far as I am aware, to this day, there is no breast cancer in my family… but looking back, something deep within me told me to not just brush it aside.  Which I didn’t ignore so much as, well… life gets busy doesn’t it?


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don’t go get your mammograms.”

– Cynthia Nixon, Actress

When I finally had my mammogram in France my life changed dramatically. Suddenly there was no more time to be wasted. From Mammogram to numerous tissue biopsies, MRI’s and endless doctor’s appointments  in between, to finding myself in surgery and having radiation treatment in Covid lockdown, it all seemed so surreal!  I was incredibly fortunate that the French medical system and their professionals are the crème de la crème. They left no stone unturned and I was so lucky to be treated as a priority.  I am eternally grateful for my love to have held my hand at every appointment and was able to translate this daunting news received all in French (aaah!).  Also my remarkable French sister in-law that was able to assist me on the complex administration side for the Social Security and Insurance.  That was probably more stress than the Cancer itself!


Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the 13th October 2020. It is a day I will never forget. I actually woke up excited. I expressed to Christian on our way to the hospital how I felt and he stopped the car. He couldn’t believe I had no fear.  But, I truly felt elated: it was the day the tumor (in the left side) & pre-cancer cells (in the right side) would be removed – yes a double lumpectomy (I don’t do things in half measures!).  I was absolutely positive that would mean I am cancer free. I did not dwell too much on, “Why me?”. But rather, decided to focus all my energy on getting better and doing everything to ensure a long and healthy life.   In a nutshell – you’re stuck with me for a while yet!



Show your support for the fight against breast cancer with our beautiful PINK Floating Necklace 

While it’s true that going through all this in a foreign land, during Covid, without my family and Besties beside me was daunting… I actually found that Covid made me stop my frantic work life. It stopped me from being too busy travelling around the globe to get a proper check up. I believe Covid made us all strangers in a strange land. It forced us all to be present with ourselves in the moment. I think the last time I might have done that was in 1986. I began to gravitate towards nature and my daily mountain walks. They kept me grounded. Now each and every day I count my blessings, feeling incredibly grateful to be on the other side of this cancer journey.  Whilst I know I will live with this for the rest of my life, I equally understand that keeping a positive mindset means whatever comes my way, I will deal with it.


“My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.” ~Olivia Newton John




We have all had someone close to us impacted by breast cancer. I am so thankful for my loving family and friends who were with me, albeit virtually, from across the globe who supported me constantly. I felt their presence. Some of whom have been through it themselves.

classic solitaire earrings pink stone

Solitaire Round (6mm) PINK Studs.   Show your support for the fight against breast cancer with our beautiful PINK classic Solitaire Earrings.


“I’ve always thought of myself as being a warrior. When you actually have a battle, it’s better than when you don’t know who to fight.”  

~Carly Simon


This is what I have learned myself and from them:


Lessons from Breast Cancer Warriors…

“Do your research but don’t get overwhelmed by what you read on the Internet. Listen to your medical team and believe in them, as they will be able to put your fears at bay and keep you informed.”


“A positive attitude really helped but but when I reflect and think back, that was having special people in my life who were there when I needed them. It gave me the thought that I had a future – without doubt.

Thoughts of dread can come quickly but can leave just as quickly when there is a purpose to your day. Let people do what you can to aid healing. Sleep well, eat well. Take one day at a time.”


My husband and my daughters were my closest support system in COVID times. Their jokes, kind words, cuddles and caring silence, all in the right doses, kept me going.

I would like others to know to please be aware, even when treatments are successful and long over, and the outer “signs” of cancer have disappeared, your friend, mother, sister and daughter can still have emotions related to what has happened to them! So please keep checking verbally and non-verbally in what state they are in when you are with them.”


“Definitely my husband, family and friends got me through. They were, and remain, the most important influence on my well-being. I believe you must tell yourself: ‘You can get through this, you just need to focus on the process step by step, do not worry about stages too far down the line’. Be mindful, try to enjoy the little things that make your day happy: chats with friends, walking your dog, getting out into fresh air and nature, making yourself a nutritious and immune boosting shakes that help your body fight, using Calm app when you just need to zone out for a while.


Top Tips

  • Lean on friends who have been through similar experiences. They want to offer support
  • Follow the science, do some reading around the subject, but trust you doctors first and foremost
  • Keep doing stuff, exercising (as reasonable at the time). Keep to your usual activities as much as you feel able to day-by-day
  • I wish I had been told that the treatment would induce menopause so quickly. I hadn’t realized this – and for me the effects were harsh. I wish I’d been prepared for that.


Be patient, there are stages of treatment and stages of recovery, you’ll want it all at once, all over, but it takes time to heal body and soul. Your soul takes longer. Once the physical is dealt with there will be a realization of the magnitude of what you’ve been through and you need to acknowledge this, be kind to yourself and realize that full recovery takes time. It’s very hard during the toughest bits of treatment, but you will come out of this stronger and more grateful for life.”


“I had a very good medical team that kept me well informed about the procedure, the outcome of the surgery, and what to expect afterwards. Then there was of course the support from my family and my strong will to recover as fast as possible. I set myself a goal that within three weeks I would be back in the gym and exactly four weeks after my surgery I was participating in a sporting event. My radiation went well but I did have minor issues with my lymph nodes. Once I had passed that stage, I considered myself cured.

Trust your gut feeling. I had not had a mammogram in close to 10 years and just felt the need to go and get myself checked. Sure enough, my results came back, and I was incredibly lucky that the doctors caught it at the precancerous stage. Albeit the pre-cancerous stage was at the highest progression level and surgery was urgent to remove the cancerous cells before spreading.”


This October the annual Breast cancer awareness campaign means so much more to me than I wanted it to. But – breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK and, according to Breast Cancer Now around 55,000 women (and 370 men!) are diagnosed every year. Wear It Pink Day 2021 is 22nd October


Every year, for many years now, DD have been donating 10% of certain sales to the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC). This year we have designed something special. Beejewel represents a woman’s courage, strength and the support of family, friends and community. The Queen Bee will be set with a symbolic pink stone for all of October and 10% of sales will go to this worthy hospital https://qscbcfoundation.org/


Shop directly at our BCA Collection: https://www.desertdiamondsjewelry.com/product-category/collections/breast-cancer-awareness/


“My dream is to raise the standard of care of breast cancer patients in Thailand to the highest level and to make it available to all women particularly the underprivileged”

Dr. Kris Chatamra, QSCBC


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