Firstly, thank you to the Whole Lotta Life Foundation for having me write a guest blog. I was recently extremely privileged to attend a five-day retreat which was organised and funded by this visionary charity. From it I have made precious new lifelong connections, with courageous and like-minded women. It was also my first experience of retreating, and now I get it! Where have I been? I am planning many, many more for sure!
So, when I am not retreating, enjoying the ebb and flow of family life with two small children, and getting frustrated with the ebb and flow of my post cancer recovery, I am collecting letters. I currently have 75 Dear Boobs letters in my inbox from women affected by breast cancer, from all over the world. Let me explain a little more.
I’m Emily. Last year, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Nope, there was no family history. I’d never been admitted to hospital before. I am a healthcare professional. A runner. A vegetarian, and a wife and mummy of two breastfed little ones. I’ve done everything right haven’t I? A classic case of “why me?”. It’s important to know, to really know, cancer doesn’t discriminate and anyway, I know exactly “why me”.
The 11 months I spent in intense treatment has taught me a lot (unavoidable cliché sorry), and it continues teaching me every single day. It has also inspired my exciting new project, The Dear Boobs Project; my “why me”.
Launched on the last day of my official treatment, Dear Boobs is a vision to publish a collection of inspiring, intimate, courageous, and sometimes hilarious letters to breasts. Written by women from all walks of life, who have had breast altering surgery due to breast cancer or a BRCA mutation. Be it one boob, two boobs or part of one, my dream is that women will read the book of Dear Boobs letters and feel supported to know their unique relationship with their wobbly womanly body parts really does matter. I hope to create, and then fund (hmmm still working on that one) at least 1000 bold and beautiful Dear Boobs books to be shared around clinics and waiting rooms where women, just like me, can pick up and feel inspired by the incredible boob wisdom. I believe it really can make a difference.
So, just over 100 days in, I’m already into the real publishing nitty gritty. Things are moving fast. Design concepts, editing, sponsorship, media releases…. it’s full time work this ‘recuperation after cancer’ thing, but I love it. It’s a win, win, win, you see. Authors heal a little by writing, the readers heal a little by reading, AND, I find a perfect outlet for the energy I am gradually mustering. It also provides the perfect opportunity for me to harness my creative (and much neglected) side, and give back to women all over the world the essential boob wisdom that I was missing on my journey.
So, if you are interested in my project, and have a Dear Boobs, boobies, breasts, knockers, tatas, lefty, righty, bosoms, mammary glands, hooters, jugs letter in your head, or know someone who might have one residing in them, please share The Dear Boobs Project. Then brace yourself for the finished book to appear in clinics and waiting rooms and bookshelves very soon.
For more information please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org