This is the title of Peta Bee's piece in Times2 this Monday, 7th September. It describes how she had made the common mistake of delaying seeking advice for a lump she dismissed as a 'cyst' then breast pain that she attributed to irritation from her guitar strap. When the pain became overwhelming she sought help but by then it was too late.
Reading her story, I felt not only sorrow at the loss of a young life full of promise, but also survivor guilt. In 1993, I, a medic (!), had dismissed the lump in my right breast as 'just another cyst' until a year later I faced up to the fact that it was getting bigger. It was breast cancer. I was 56 then (1993) with adult children. I had a mastectomy and the underarm lymph glands were clear. In 2016, a tiny lump, a cancer in the mastectomy scar, was treated promptly by biopsy and 3 weeks' radiotherapy to the scar area.
So here I am in 2021, 28 years on with my 83rd birthday in a fortnight, a living tribute to my good luck and others' good management of my breast cancer, and living proof that, although cancer can't be cured (there are a few exceptions), it can be managed for many years,
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).