Hello and welcome to the Young Women's Breast Cancer Blog UK! This site was set up in March 2015 although I took a break from it over the last year or so. It's now March 2017 and I am hoping to get things going again.
My name is Sarah, I'm 36 years old and I live in Leicester, UK. In July 2014 I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer.
(This photo was taken in August 2015 - a year and 2 days after my first chemo - in Brighton on a Special Day organised by the Willow Foundation.)
If you'd like to know more about my own breast cancer story, it's all on my blog, Fights Like A Girl.
Why I've set up the Young Women's Breast Cancer Blog UK
I've blogged my way through my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and it has been an incredibly positive and cathartic thing to have done. I know many of the other women with breast cancer who I've made friends with have found the process of blogging to be great for them too. There is even research that suggests blogging eases depression in women with breast cancer (especially younger women!)
However, not all young women with breast cancer have their own blog. There are many reasons for this - for example, some don't know where to begin, some don't feel able to commit to writing regularly, and some have concerns about anonymity and privacy. I wanted to create a site where women who don't have their own blog can share one-off or occasional writing about breast cancer - diagnosis, treatment and life after treatment.
Also, women with their own blogs find that there are some things they don't feel they can write about in case, for example, it upsets people they know. This might include honest writing about their fears around prognosis, or about the difficulties cancer can cause in personal relationships. This site will also provide a place for women who have their own blogs to share individual pieces of writing anonymously if it is something they don't feel comfortable putting on their own blog.
Who is the Young Women's Breast Cancer Blog for?
It is for young women with breast cancer who want to share their experiences of being a young woman with breast cancer, or read about the experiences of other young women with breast cancer.
The aims of the Young Women's Breast Cancer Blog
To provide a space where women can write with complete honesty and openness, both at the best of times, and at the worst of times, about breast cancer. As the blog grows, the hope is that it becomes an insightful collection of voices and experiences of young women in the UK with breast cancer, whether they have a primary or secondary diagnosis.
What the blog is not
This is not a place for reporting on, analysing, debating or campaigning about things like breast cancer research, trials, funding, related government policy etc. It is a place for women with breast cancer to share personal feelings and experiences.
Why is it UK only?
At the moment I am keeping content focussed on young women with breast cancer in the UK - this is because experiences of cancer treatment and healthcare are very different in different countries. However, in the future I'd love to explore how this blog could best be expanded or replicated to offer a useful resource to women in other countries too.
Who can submit a blog post?
Any woman in the UK who was diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45. If this is you then you might find this further information useful:
Do you have any other questions about the blog? If so, get in touch!