42. Bosom Pals

Bosom Pals is a support group which was set up a few years ago for women who have had breast cancer in Plymouth.  It has about 200 members and is an invitation only Facebook group.  As it is a private group it is a easy place to ask questions which your family and friends can’t see… anything goes and you can get information ranging from nipple tattoos to why do you feel a bit grim.

There is also a once a month meeting at a venue in the east of Plymouth where the “pink sisters” can discuss issues relating to breast cancer or have a talk relevant to treatment and beyond.  One such was was about scar therapy – fascinating to find out how massage and use of oils can help scars heal – a technique called Myfascial release.

The meeting I attended was very welcoming, I’d arrived from school with my armour on.  Most of the group wore pink polo shirts, some had pink hair and there was a sprinkling of pink ribbon tattoos.

From this group an online discussion grew about the Real Full Monty, Ladies Night which had been aired by ITV.  In this programme several celebs had been taught to dance and developed a routine to the “This is me ” song from the Greatest Showman movie.  The celebs had links with breast cancer e.g. Victoria Derbyshire from the BBC documented her diagnosis and treatment.  Coleen Nolan had a sister with secondary breast cancer, one had a genetic disposition for cancer so had had her breasts and ovaries removed.  Others had more tenuous links as an actress from Emmerdale was frightened to go for a mammogram so had never been.   The programme followed how the women trained to dance and then put on a performance involving burlesque feathers with a “reveal” at the end of the song.  Ladies Night, Full Monty

The national press carried stories of the performance and it was “revealed” that the celebs had each been paid £10,000 and had raised a total of £4,000 for breast cancer charities.  It did, however, spread awareness about breast cancer and encouraged women to check their boobs.

One of the Bosom Pals ladies thought that the support group could do better (not least as it had a history of fundraising and had raised £19,000 from a photo shoot and calendar a la Calendar girls) …. and so the idea of a Bosom Pals dance arrived.

Tip:  Don’t pass up new opportunities – you never know where they might lead.


Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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