If it hadn’t been for my mission to reduce my use of plastic, particularly no longer using plastic mesh wash scrunchies, it might have been very different. For this life-changing moment was whilst hurriedly washing before taking the kids to school, using a bar of soap and my hand I detected a breast lump. If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’ll know that this led to a cancer diagnosis, hospital treatment and all is now good, it seems.

Fast forward three years, I appear from the outside, perhaps, to be totally fine moving through life as before. Physically I’m well and it’s just daily medication and yearly mammograms and MRI scans. However, the emotional impact is there every day.

I’m sharing this during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to help to raise awareness of the emotional impact of a breast cancer diagnosis as well as the importance of checking for signs of cancer which include:

- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit.

- A change to the skin such as puckering or dimpling.

- A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed.

- A nipple change, for example it has become pulled in (inverted).

- Rash or crusting around the nipple.

- Unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple

- Changed in size or shape of the breast (https://breastcancernow.org)

Anyone can get breast cancer so it’s important that everyone gets into the habit of regular self-examinations – don’t leave it to a chance as I did!

You can help women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis by going along to Ocean in Exmouth on Friday 20th October where local charity Can Cope will be hosting a fundraising event from 11am – 1pm on The Deck. Buy a cake, take part in a virtual balloon race and show your support for this charity who help so many local people.

More information: www.rhubarbandrunnerbeans.co.uk