October is Breast Cancer Care awareness month


Simon and Alison at the Breast Cancer Care Show 2011Well, what a wonderful response to the competition I set last time! I'm not surprised though that so many of you wanted  to win the Diamonique pendant, which is an exact copy of my own diamond one that Colin bought for me! And yes, you were ALL correct, it was a Christmas present – I'm wondering what I might get this year?! :)

Sadly there can only be one winner, so my lovely editor, Mark, has pulled a name out of the hat and I will announce who 'you' are at the end of this blog.

I do have to apologise though to all those of you who kindly tuned in last Sunday at 9pm hoping to see this gorgeous piece of jewellery in my Diamonique show. Unfortunately we had a glitch in the system and although the stock was in the warehouse, it wasn't on our system, so the computer said 'no'! 

Good news is that we WILL have it for you, complete with chain, on Diamonique Day, which is coming October 8th!  Can't wait – oh, and the TSV is the watch I chose when I was in Basal, so an exciting day ahead.

Talking of exciting days, probably our biggest in terms of audience, product, time, effort and fundraising will follow the week after, on October the 16th. 'Be Aware, Show you Care' is a three-hour fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care, and in this our 13th year, we hope to add even more money to the monumental amount already raised by you, our suppliers, and QVC.

I know many of you sponsored my friend (and original blog editor!) Bryony, when she ran the London Marathon this year. I am in awe of her for so many reasons, but I felt it was an incredible thing to do, and am very proud to be her friend :) Along with 'Pink Friday' last month, a cake sale, the Race for Life, and also the Pink Ribbon Walks, QVC have already added to the four and a half million pounds raised over the last 12 years.

Charlie and Debbie Flint will be hosting the event this year, but I will also be with them between 6pm and 9pm, so I very much hope you will be a part of it too… This year is going to be particularly difficult as we have lost Amica and Beulah – 12 months ago we all felt so positive and hopeful…they have been very much in my thoughts over the last few months.

Alison's pendantHowever, it was much earlier this year that I was asked by our jewellery team to design a piece of jewellery for this very special night. It was to be something that would have meaning for those of us, our families, friends, colleagues, workmates, whose lives are affected by this cruel disease.

I have to be honest and say that, although it meant a great deal to be asked, the request carried with it a huge feeling of responsibility. In the two years since I was diagnosed, this blog has blossomed, Ali's Army has been created, and I think it's become an incredible support network for us all. Not only have you carried me through the darkest times, but cheered me endlessly with stories of your lives. 

However, sometimes you write of your struggles – the sadness, loss, despair and fear – and reading and responding to you, has helped me to realise that although no two situations are the same, there is something fundamental we all share - we never give up hope. Whether caring for a poorly child, coping with disease, supporting a parent, missing a son, loving a daughter, losing the battle, fighting the fight, it's the one thing that keeps us going. And so I knew I wanted to design something simple yet beautiful, which would embody that sentiment.

Alison Kennan necklaceAs with most things in my life, I talked to Colin, and together we decided that a pendant would be the best choice. We were in Morrocco at the time and sitting underneath a huge lantern that was made up of hundreds of tiny metal tear-shaped elements, and so we decided that the design of the pendant should be a single silver tear drop, and that the words "I hope" would be inscribed on one side…

The thing is that when times are hard, people are struggling, it can be difficult to tell someone how you're really feeling: "I hope your treatment won't be so bad this week, that the scans will be clear. I hope you are coping without her. I hope each day you know how much I love you. I hope that you are feeling stronger. I hope you never have to go through this. I hope you know how brave I think you've been." Or, as my Lucy said to me "I hope you will get better forever…"

Sadly there are no promises and, although I have been given my best chance, there are still times when I am frightened that the cancer will come back and I will lose the fight, as too many of my friends already have. The money raised from selling this pendant will go to our chosen charity, Breast Cancer Care.

It will help them to provide essential emotional and practical support for women like me, like you, our families and friends. We will have the pendant on Advanced Order at the beginning of October, and it will be shipped out to you the week after. We'll have stock in our warehouse from the 7th October, and I will be bringing it to you on the big night itself – 16th October! – between 6pm and 9pm :) It's item number 609975.

Often the simplest of designs are the most complicated to create, but I couldn't be happier with the finished result…it is, quite simply, perfect. :) I hope very much that you will like it, and that you or someone you care about would wear it, so that between us we can go some way towards raising much needed cash to help the 500,000 women who are diagnosed each year with this awful disease.

You've all been incredibly generous over the last 12 years and it would be lovely to make this our biggest night yet – do join us if you can :) At least this year I'll have more hair to style (check out the picture at the top of this post from our Breast Cancer Care show in 2011)! :)

Well, all that remains for me to do this week, is to name the winner of my competition! Congratulations to Sue Wotton! We will post your beautiful Diamonique pendant to you once we have your address. Thanks again, though, to ALL those of you who took part and who wrote to me – I'll try and set another one again soon :)

Have a fabulous weekend. Oh, and don't forget our birthday on the 1st of October!

With my love, Ali xx


  1. TINA LEES September 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    hi ali i have onil just recently joined your blog. you have inspired me so much as i was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 also and i have been going through the journey with you. i see my consultant in oct but my wonderful partner as just booked us a week in majorca before we see him to cheer me up. i like u have a loving and caring partner, he,s been there every step of the way. you are looking amazing your hair is beautiful, this is just a short message, but will be back soon. you take care. loads of love tina.xx

  2. Carol September 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Lovely ali,ive just read your blog and am in tears,such beautiful writing, and the pendant is just soooo perfect.
    I for one will be buying it to wear all the time. I wrote to you about hubby,all fingers crossed and keep on hopeing things will get better.
    Your such a special lady.
    take care
    Love carol.

  3. Diane gilbank September 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    What a beautiful beautiful design and message Ali, that blog alone brought at ear to my eye. You are so open and honest about your containing fight against the enemy that is cancer and totally understand when you get wobble moments, even more so after loosing the 2 beautiful models recently. The I hope message could not be more perfect and I predict a sell out when the pendant is aired.
    Good luck with your shows and keep on doing what you do best and shine when presenting your shows!
    Much love Diane xxx

  4. Julie September 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What a lovely blog as usual. I did reply to your previous one but my message did not appear-something I said??
    I think the pendant is absolutely beautiful and the words so apt. I can’t believe the photo above was taken 2 years ago!
    You’ve done so well Ali so stay positive. I really don’t know how you’ve kept your spirit and sense of humour throughout. I’m sure the pendant will raise loads of money for this terrible disease. You know how close it is to my heart.
    Lily’s been on holidays so I haven’t had her for a fortnight-you know how much I’ve missed her?? unfortunately she’s been sick since back so another worry.
    Will keep you informed of how things are going as things are not straight forward at the moment-although we are enjoying our new house(it’s about the only thing going right at the moment!!!)
    Hope all the family are well too.
    Take care as always
    Julie x Lily xxx

  5. Cheryl September 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Many thanks for your reply on your last blog. I had my Oncology yearly check-up today and all well, was initially told that I would only be on Tamoxifen for 5yrs but have now been told that it will be 10yrs as I was considered young when diagnosed (43) but at least they are keeping a good check on me. I am so glad that you are well and you really are an inspiration to us all. Looking forward to Breast Cancer Care night as I always do, my daughter and I are hoping that one year we might actually be able to get to the live show.
    Love and best wishes to you and your family.

  6. Mary Morphy September 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, your blog this week was very poignant; my dear dad had his funeral yesterday and yes, your blog made me cry but I was so lucky to have him for my 47 years…the sun shone yesterday and our service was very personal..not religious although The Lord’s Prayer’ was said at the end but my dad wouldn’t have wanted a solemn traditional service. He came in to ‘Bye bye blues’ By Bert Kampfeart which was mum and dads favourite and a tune that as kids we can remember hearing. After the eulogy of dads life and funny stories and memorable moments that me send my sisters had written there was time for reflection whilst ‘Moonlight Serenade’ by Glenn Miller played then at the end of the service we left to the sound of Woolly Bully’ a song that my whenever it was played at parties dad would be up dad dancing in his own unique out of time way..every one left with a smile and the sun was still shining.
    I shall be ordering your beautiful tear drop pendant..its perfect. Looking forward to purchasing for breast cancer care…a fab three hours for a great cause. The hospice were amazing with dad and made the last hours of his life comfortable and special for us. We asked for no flowersbut donations to the hospice so we can repay their kindness.
    Back to some sort of normality next week and getting into a routine with mum who has been simply remarkable. Much love Mary.x

  7. Louise Shepherd September 28, 2013 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for another eloquent, thought-provoking blog. You’ve summed up, for me, why we should make the extra effort for Breast Cancer Care. Your description of what you chose to design and what it means are moving and powerful. Hope is the secret ingredient we all need in life, and your pendant is a beautiful embodiment of why having hope is so important when we face the darkest moments in our lives.

  8. Trish Owen September 28, 2013 at 8:58 am -  Reply

    Hello Alison
    I really love the “hope” pendant and will get it for my daughter who
    is 38 and was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer just over a year ago. Do you know this poem by Emily Dickinson? This is the first of 3 verses.
    “Hope” is the thing with feathers-
    That perches in the soul-
    And never stops at all-
    with love
    Trish x

  9. Lynne Ryan September 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    All good wishes to you and everyone for breast cancer care.
    I remember the speech Debbie Greenwood made last year at Breast Cancer Care. It was wonderful, one of the best I have ever heard, a fitting tribute. Very sad to hear that she is apparently no longer with QVC.

  10. Pearl Emery September 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    You are such a lovely person,i wrote on your last blog i think it was, that my son had to have a Colonoscopy,well i am pleased to say that his results have come back clear,pleased i am delighted,he had to go to see his own Dr and she reckons it could be his medication that is causing the problem,but she has done another blood test just in case it is not that,we await the results.
    Thank you for caring
    Love Pearl x

  11. Polly September 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali what an emotional piece of writing. I have never written before but this time I felt inspired to add my very very best wishes for your recovery from your latest op. Breast cancer can blight and change many things but it can never crush hope or spirit. Every day is one day nearer finding a cure for this disease and with encouragement and determination from people like you to raise the profile and raise money into research, that day is coming nearer. Like many of us I will watch for your “I hope” pendant … I have family and friends who have been touched by this disease and it would be lovely to give them a gift with such a beautiful sentiment. Well done and keep smiling. With warmest wishes to you and those you love.

  12. martin forbes September 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    hope you are well alison and your family i am well happy 2oth qvc on tuesday alison i have on vhs tape your first qvc showq ithink from 2000 with dave bradford how did you get on with dave

  13. Jilly September 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I love your blog – it just says it all. The pendant is beautiful and how perfect the simple words “I hope” are. Not just to one person but to everyone no matter what they are going through or have gone through with themselves or a family or friend. Yes, it is perfect and very well done to both you and Colin. You are also right in what a support network your blog has turned into. I keep saying that this was (and is) where my support was when my darling daughter received the shocking news that her lump was a nasty one. I am really not sure how I would have got through this last year giving her the support she needed without having you all here and I am more grateful than any of you could ever imagine.
    I shall be there on the 8th putting my order in and doing my bit to support all the women out there who need help.
    Thanks Ali – you really are a shining light and we love you to bits.
    Can you imagine when the photo above was taken that a year later you would have the beautiful head of hair you now have. Annie is going to have to get her hair trimmed again but she keeps getting stopped by everyone to say how they love the short hairstyle – her son’s friend said the other morning ” I do like your new hairstyle and you look very nice with black and grey hair”!!!! Annie laughed at this as her hair does have some grey bits in and does look very dark whereas it was auburn before – but it still looks fab and is so soft.
    So October breast month will soon be here and at sometime we can maybe find a quiet time by ourselves to reflect on the last year and what has happend to everyone we know and try to go onwards and upwards from here. Love Jilly xx

  14. NormaSmithson September 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What a smashing blog this week, can’t wait to see the pendant, and hearing how you and Colin came up with the design has made it even more poingnant to me. Are you going to be on the catwalk again this year, I think everyone in Ali’s army was wishing you well last year, strutting your stuff. You were in my thoughts so much today, we were visiting someone who’s very close to me and who is terribly ill with that dreaded disease with no hope of reprieve. Normally the words come easily as you try to make them feel better even for a short time, but todayI found it very hard. I wish with all my heart that this is the best year ever for raising money, and I shall be there buying the superb bargains, and also donating. It’s a time to think of everyone who has been affected by the big C, and see if we can get closer to finding a definitive cure. Ali you lift my spirits which is just what I need tonight, I can’t wait to see the pendant the message on it is just perfect because that’s what everyone needs HOPE. Take care my love, your looking smashing,and what ever you are presenting you light up our screens. Much Love Norma xx

  15. Elaine sallis September 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali. What a beautiful blog. I hope for all our sakes you are better forever.
    Elaine xxxxxxxx

  16. Elizabeth Ainsley September 29, 2013 at 7:50 am -  Reply

    Inspirational X

  17. Sue Wotton September 29, 2013 at 10:24 am -  Reply

    I looked this morning on your blog. And I can not believe I have won the beautiful pendant. I will wear it with pride. Breast Cancer has affected my family like many people. My Mum and my Sister Karen. My Mum died at 45. And my Sister Karen has had the all clear after having a mastectomy. Both of them very strong and had a positive attitude through out. But never did I hear them say poor me. You have had the same positive attitude and I am so glad you are well after your battle. Thankyou so much Sue Wotton.

  18. Sandra Slimming September 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Recovering from Breast Cancer and glad to hear Alison will have more hair. I have just been told that mine will never grow back so I’m sad but at least alive. Will be watching this very special day and hopefully buying something. Keep up the good work

  19. Patricia jelfs September 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali can you pre order this pendant I think it is truly lovely

  20. Jasmin September 30, 2013 at 8:31 am -  Reply

    Thank you Ali for writing this. You don’t want people to say you are brave but you are and by opening up so much of your experience to others you have done so much good.
    My son killed himself 13 years ago when aged 19. I have often wanted to hide away and keep the shattering pain to myself but I have done my very best to support others who lose their loved ones in the same way, or a child in any way at all. It keeps me going and also keeps the love that Dominick shared with all of us alive into the future.
    God Bless you and much love

  21. Alison Keenan September 30, 2013 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Just a very short note to attach to the new photo of the pendant. Without my glasses I hadn’t realised that the side with the inscription still showed the hallmark. Our clever designers have since managed to laser the hallmark inside the bale, so the new photo is how it will look for you :) Thank you for all your beautiful comments – I will respond as always! Love Ali xx

  22. Sue Radford September 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    The pendant you’ve designed is perfect – well done! I will watch out for it on the night as I want to purchase one. When I wear it I will always remember the good times I had with the loved ones I’ve loved and lost, and also it will be a reminder of lovely Amica and Beulah.
    I must admit I’ve shed a tear reading this blog and reading the replies you’ve received, as I can relate so much to several of the comments. I couldn’t have come up with a better word myself than “HOPE” as it means so much doesn’t it?
    I had a lovely holiday and met some lovely people, but the weather was so so hot – it was freak weather for this time of year and we didn’t have air-conditioning aaaargh!
    Do you remember me telling you I’ve been writing to my pen-pal in America for over 50 years? She is a talented flutist and she is on the internet – if you type in Flutist Michele Spadaro, you can see her play. I was thrilled to bits to see her. Can you believe she’s nearly 62 years old?
    Please can you pass on my best wishes to Debbie Greenwood and tell her she will be greatly missed. She has the most wonderful sense of humour, and even though she’s our loss, she’ll most definitely be someone else’s gain. I wish her all the very best for the future. I replied to just one of her blogs some time ago, as we had something in common – our husband’s snoring – she made me laugh so much with her funny comments. Will also miss Julian too!
    Take care Ali,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  23. angela white September 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,you alright!? im so pleased your results came back clear, what a relief for you not a nice procedure I think the prep is just as bad! drain cleaner comes to mind but your pipes are clear!! I love the pendant you and colin have designed its perfect! I hope they find a cure for all cancers SOON!!! I will be tuning in and donating as usual because bcc do a fantastic job although its 5years since my diagnosis I still remember the shock of being told I had bc but the pack from bcc was a god send to me to help me prepare for the lumpectomy,chemo and radiotherapy and afterwards. its sometimes hard to talk to people who haven’t had bc cos they don’t really understand but on your blog ali we all help each other and im so gratefulfor that plus we have a laugh as well!! well Thomas will be off to his aunty sue again the end of next month just for 2days as we are going to tenby to visit steves sister he doesn’t go in the cattery she has outside oh no he shares her daughters bedroom!! she doesn’t mind he sits in the window and comes over for a fuss when he pleases! in my next life im coming back as a pampered pussy cat!!! I was sorry to here debs and Julian have left I loved debbies sense of humour! I wish them every success in the future take care ali,love to you and yours and all of ali”s army xx

  24. Alpa September 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    I hope you know how loved you are by Ali’s Army and how much you mean to us all. Your blog made me cry and also gave me renewed hope. I don’t know of anyone who has been untouched by breast cancer and thank you for sharing your journey with us. All we want as your Lucy said, is for you to be better for ever. The pendant that you designed is beautiful and just perfect.
    I have crashed after going out to lunch a week ago. I wanted to take a cab and the person I was with suggested the bus. Instead of waiting around for it I thought I would be ok to walk there and back. The effect of walking for an hour has not been good at all! I’m also sad to say that I think I have given up with ‘friends’ and family. Not one of them will even acknowledge the reality of my life and after 18 years I can not afford to have a constant drain on what little energy I do have. It’s just too much to ask for, when trying to manage my life is already being done at the expense of my health. The final straw was when I was informed and not asked about having visitors to stay. As you can imagine, the last time did not go well at all!
    I am aware that even if I am able to see a proper doctor, my chance of an improved quality of life is not that great as I’ve received no medical treatment for so long. There’s also the possibility this may have started in early childhood. I still hope to find someone, somewhere who will be able to help. Whatever happens, at least I know that I tried. Having an MRI tomorrow, unfortunately not the specific type of MRI I need as they will not do that here! Thank you for a reminder of how to do the letter, which is how I also tend to do it. I may just get someone to have a look at it as well. I’m very thankful for your support and kindness Ali and that of my friends here.
    Love to all in Ali’s Army, especially Debz and Mary x
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  25. Rene Hilton September 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali,
    First time of reading any of the presenters’ blogs, the tears have just flowed. I have so many friends and close family with this wretched disease, you are the quintessential professional, you love what you do and it is the pleasure of your viewers to be with you. Please can you tell me more about Amica and Beulah? or point me to relevant information. My heart bleeds for their family, most of all for them as their beauty, like yours shines through. God Bless you and your families.

  26. Edna Munro September 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    As always a warm,inspiring,compassionate and truly human blog.I am too full to write more.
    Take care,
    Edna xx

  27. helen October 1, 2013 at 9:40 am -  Reply

    Hia Ali
    All I can say is YOUR OUR HOPE!!! You have been so honest and caring and I know I speak on behalf of your friends here in saying, we love you lots and respect and admire you more.
    Love and hugs as always
    Helen s xxxx

  28. angela white October 1, 2013 at 10:08 am -  Reply

    hi ali,me again! I have just ordered your beautiful pendant on wait list it will arrive just before or after my birthday-brilliant a present for me and ive done some good! take care,much love angela x

  29. Rhona Fenton October 1, 2013 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, what a beautiful design that say’s it all but then with you at the design I knew it would be amazing:) having said that I also think it can reach out to anyone as there are so many different illnesses out there and this would also give them Hope to hang onto also and meaning too, so well done you for coming up with this amazing design simple but stunning also, as you know there is no cure at the moment for my illness like many others that have it also but I never give up ‘HOPE’ that they will find one, so your design say’s it all for so many people and thank you for that :) you are looking amazing as always and really love your hair :) I will be tuned into the evening as always as never miss it! I resent your email to your qvc email hope you got it that time? enjoy your week and love to you, colin and the family as always Rhona xx

  30. Debz & Ainzley October 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    An inspirational blog as always. Sorry I haven’t been on much but Neal’s Mom’s condition has now been deemed terminal as non of the treatments they have tried have worked and they have now run out of options. She has Idiopatic Thrombocytopenic Pupura or ITP for short. Basically her body is destroying blood platelets which means she’s bleeding internally all the time and has to have regular blood and platelet infusions. The hospital have been wonderful but all treatments including experimental treatments have failed to reverse this condition.
    She is on one final drug but the specialist has told is it has a single figure percentage chance of working but he feels he has to try everything possible just in case.
    Not the prognosis we were hoping for at all but the hospital have said they will continue with the blood/platelet infusions for as long as she is happy to have them so, although not a cure, it does give her more time with us all until such time as she can no longer cope.
    The hardest thing to bear is that she looks so well and is really cheerful. She has bruises on her arms from the internal bleeding but basically she looks like a healthy woman. She is now at home and is looked in on by MacMillan nurses. She is trying to live as normal a life as she can for as long as she can. Neal is heartbroken as you can imagine.
    I shall be getting the I Hope pendant as that is all I can do. Hope.
    Sorry to hear that you’ve had cameras where cameras should never go but am glad that your insides have been given a clean bill of health!
    I agree that you have created something wonderful in Ali’s Army. We all support each other (and you of course) through good times and bad. I’m so sorry that some of you are having such a terrible time at the moment. I send you all strength and love.
    Alpha my lovey, you too deserve some good in your life. Hold on and hope, just as we all do, that you will get the help and support you deserve.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  31. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tina, Although it’s only been recently that you started to read this blog I am so glad that it’s helped you get through what I know will have been a tough two years. Great to hear that your partner has been supportive and kind – exactly what you need when something like this changes your world. I hope you have a fabulous holiday and hope that you will write again and let us know how you got on. Take care, and thanks for writing – always good to invite new members to Ali’s Army :) Love Ali x

  32. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Carol, so good to hear from you, and I like you have been in tears reading some of these beautiful comments. It makes me happy to know that you like the pendant, and that you will enjoy wearing it – spreading the message of hope is I think a good thing. I remember you writing about your husband, and I thank you for your time, with love, Ali xx

  33. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Diane that would be wonderful if were able to sell them out.. I know that many of you – myself included – have already ordered them, and it’s great that we’re helping BCC at the time same time :) Looking forward to being with you on the big night itself, and hoping to compose myself sufficiently so there aren’t too many wobble moments :) With love,
    Ali xx

  34. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Julie I am sorry to hear that your comment wasn’t printed – you know I would have replied if I had found it! :) I do hope that poor Lily is feeling better now – must have been something she picked up on holiday – and that your life will very soon be back to something closer to normal. I know how difficult it can be trying to keep your head above water when you feel as though you’re drowning in things.. Stay strong, and do keep in touch. Thank you too for your kind words and honesty. With love, Ali xx

  35. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Cheryl, I am glad that all is well following your check up, and as you were so young when diagnosed and because your cancer – like mine – is a hormone receptor, that will be why you have to stay on Tamoxifen for another 5 years. I will be on a different drug for 3 years after my first 5 of Tamoxifen.. keeps us safe though hopefully :) It’ll be lovely to know that you and your daughter are the other side of the camera on the 16th October, and love and best wishes to you and yours too. Ali xx

  36. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Mary you have been very much in my thoughts over this last week or so, and I am glad that although no doubt an incredibly difficult day to get through, your Dad’s funeral was one you left with a smile on your face… Keep the memory alive my love, it will keep you strong when you get sad… Love to you, your sisters, your children and of course your mum – a remarkable lady as you rightly say. Take care, Ali xx

  37. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Louise your words mean a lot to me, and are exactly what ‘I hoped’ would be the reason behind those of you wanting to buy and wear the pendant. Wishing you well and thanking you for writing. Please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    My dear Trish, firstly I was so very sorry to read of your daughter’s diagnosis, and can only hope that her treatment is keeping her strong, and that she is coping. I hope you too are managing to maintain the balance that is so hard when it is our children that are struggling.. I have indeed heard of Emily Dickinson’s poem, and those lines are inscribed on the bangles my daughter Lucy bought for me after I was diagnosed, and that I wear every day… “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the song without the words, and never stops at all…” As you say, perfect… With love, Ali xx

  39. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lynne, and thank you for writing to me on this special blog. Yes I too remember Debbie Greenwood’s amazing speech.. she had me in pieces with her words, and I know she put a huge amount of herself and our friendship into it. It is sad that she is no longer working for QVC, but I saw her just last night, and she is very well, and cracking on with other things. If you tweet you can keep in touch with her @DebbiegreenwoodTV. Take care, and ‘see’ you on the 16th! love Ali xx

  40. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Pearl, that is great news! I have been hoping that you would let me know how your son is, and it sounds very positive for the blood test results too. I hope that you are also well, and I am glad that you are still enjoying the blog, with love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    Dear Polly, your words, along with many others on this blog have brought me to tears… so very true, every one of them… I hope that those members of your family, and friends are all now well and moving on with their lives… I am glad that you think the pendant would be a fitting gift for them. Take care and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  42. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Hello Martin, how incredible that you still have the VHS of the first show I ever presented on QVC! Yes Dave Bradford was absolutely charming and although I was more than a little nervous on the day, he put me right at ease. I hope this finds you well, and thanks as always for taking the time to comment. Love Ali x

  43. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly it’s always good to read your responses to the blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant confirmation of all that I write. It means such a lot to know that this blog has helped you and Annie, and hopefully many other folk who find themselves in worrying and upsetting situations.. And yes, almost impossible for me to believe that my hair has grown back so well and so much thicker than before.. I wish I’d had the courage to go on air without my wig back then, but I felt very self concious. Tell Annie that my hair was almost black initially and I had it lightened to tone it down! I hope that you find your time to reflect on all that has happened to you as a family over this last year, and will be able to move onwards and upwards knowing that the worst of that time is now over. You take care, with love, Ali xx

  44. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma I am so sorry that you are struggling as your friend is so poorly.. Just being there with them, even without finding the ‘right words’ will no doubt have been a comfort. These are the moments I thought of when designing the pendant, and I am very glad that you like the design and the words.. Not on the Catwalk this year, but on your screen on the 16th with Charlie, Debs, Craig and many other familiar faces, so I am delighted that you will be joining us then. Stay strong, and I hope – as you do – that with the money raised, we will get closer to finding a definitive cure for this cruel disease. With love, Ali xx

  45. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    My dear Elaine…. through tears, thank you… Love Ali xx

  46. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    …And Elizabeth, thank you too, love Ali xx

  47. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I am so glad that you are pleased with your win, and we will have the pendant with you asap. I was sorry though to read of your mum and your sister, having both had to cope with breast cancer, and that you lost your mum at such a young age… As you say, they’re both incredibly brave, and stayed positive, which is the only way – hard though it often is. I hope that you remain in good health and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  48. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    My dear Sandra I was so sorry to hear that having been through all your treatment you have now been told that your hair will never grow back… Miracles can happen though, and as the premise of this entire blog is based upon, there is always hope… I am glad that you will be with all of us on the 16th October, and that you are feeling much better than you have been. With love, Ali xx

  49. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Patricia, and thanks for writing to me :) You can indeed order the pendant right now on order no. 609975. It is on advanced Orders and will be shipped out w/b 26th October, so not too long to wait. I am very glad that you like it. With love, Ali xx

  50. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jasmin… I have deliberated for quite some time having read your devastating comment… Your story is my worst nightmare, and I only know that whatever I have had to go through, it pales into insignificance when compared to losing a child – particularly in the way you lost your son. I was very close to losing my son Sam when he was in hospital all those years ago, and I know that my life would never have been the same… The fact that you have managed, inspite of your despair, to help other people is incredible, and I am sure that everyone who reads this blog, will be sending you their love and strength. Please take care of yourself, and keep in touch.. with love, Ali xx

  51. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday, but sorry it was quite SO hot! I think we may have seen the last of the Indian Summer here, but it has been a corker. Thank by the way for the link to your friend the flutist! Unbelieve talent, and as you say incredible to believe she is 62. I played the flute many years ago and got to Grade 4, but my sister still plays and has completed all the grades with distinction… So glad that you like the pendant, and I like you, have been reduced to tears reading many of these comments. here’s hoping that the pendant raises a shed load of money for BCC :) I saw Deb Greenwood just last night, and she is in great form and cracking on with all kinds of things! I will pass your best wishes on, and to Julian. I hope very much that all is well with you and yours, and do keep in touch – it’s always lovely to hear from you, Ali xx

  52. alison keenan October 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Y’am awright Angela, you alright?! :) Lovely as always to hear from you and I’m very glad that the pendant is something you’d be happy to wear. Great too to hear that 5 years ago, you also benefitted from the help Breast Cancer Care were able to give to you. As you say, around the time of diagnosis it is such a shock and a blur and difficult to think straight. Very glad to hear that you are doing so well though :) I hope that your Thomas enjoys his time with his Aunty Sue, and that you enjoy your time in Tenby – how lovely! I will of course pass on your best to Debs and Julian who are both doing well, and love to you and yours, Ali xx

  53. Roberta Warnock October 2, 2013 at 12:46 am -  Reply

    I have just read your blog for first time. My mum had a mastectomy 36 yrs ago aged 48 yrs and she has done brilliantly since then with no recurrence. I hope this gives hope to anyone dealing with this at moment. There is always hope and the good news is that a lot of people recover fully from breast cancer. I also know 2 other ladies who are 10 or more years clear after surgery.. I wish you well Alison, stay positive, you have done amazingly well.,,
    Take care, Roberta.

  54. Jilly October 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I have come on this evening to say how really wonderful you looked in the Philip Kingsley hour – your hair and dress just looked perfect and how very well you look especially after your last lot of surgery. I was more looking at you than the products. Thank you for your kind words and also to Roberta to blog and give “hope” (that word again) to everyone who has been or is going through this hell. Trish I know the horror of what you and your daughter have/are going through as my daughter was just 40 when she found her lump!!! Impossible to have got as far as we have without this blogging and Ali and everyone being there.
    I keep a diary and keep checking last year to see what was happening – in a way it has been really helpful in that I can see how much progress was made (although we may not have thought so at the time)and how far we have all come on from there. Annie called in today and we had a laugh about her hair which seems to be now growing upwards!!! How funny that your hair was also dark.
    Hope that Lucy is enjoying her new school life and she is happy in her new school.
    Catch up again soon Love Jilly xx

  55. Alpa October 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Debz,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Neal’s Mum and for what you are all going though. I’m glad that Neal has you by his side. Sending you a big hug and my love to you and Neal.
    Thank you for your kind words and for being my friend. Thinking of you always.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  56. Julie October 4, 2013 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I know if you’d seen my message you would have replied-I hope you weren’t offended by me mentioning it-but I doubt it very much.
    Lily better thank you-you know what it’s like with children but as you know I worry more with age!!
    Will message you over the next few days with what’s going on at the moment. One thing in particular as it struck a chord with both of us.
    Take care
    Julie x Lily xxxx

  57. Beverley Seal October 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I have just read your blog for the first tlme, how inspiring. I was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago and I have found things really tough since. I go for my pre-op assessment on Tuesday 8th October and my operation on Thursday 17th October but feel so much more positive now having read your blog. Will definately be watching you all on Wednesday 16th October for ” Be Aware, Show you Care” and will also be ordering your beautiful necklace. “I hope” that a cure for cancer, any type of cancer, is found soon. Have a fantastic evening on the 16th, keep fighting,
    Love, Bev Seal x

  58. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, thank you so much for your lovely reply to my blog – your words mean so much, I just wish there was something I could do for you to cheer you, or make things better. Perhaps as you suggest it’s time for you to take a break from those who should be helping, but who clearly aren’t. Just don’t give up on yourself, and the help that I firmly believe is out there somewhere for you…. it’s just a case of finding it. I hope very much that the MRI you had will maybe bring something to their attention, and they will then be able to help you more… Good luck with the letter too, and please keep me and all your friends in Ali’s Army in touch with how you are doing. I know that if there’s anything any one of us can find out, or pass on that will help you, we will. Take good care, and do try to stay positive, although I know it must be so very hard for you to do. Sending my love, Ali xx

  59. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Rene, I am so touched that you took the time to read this blog, and felt able to share your thoughts with us all. Your kind words are truly appreciated, and also your concern and caring for both Amica and Beulah’s families… If you look back over the last couple of blogs I have written, you will know more of both these courageous and beautiful women… although it is impossible in words to describe all that they were, or how very much they are missed… God bless you too Rene, Ali xx

  60. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Lovely Edna, you are such a compassionate person. Thank you for keeping in touch with me, and I hope that you are well and happy. With love, Ali xx

  61. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Helen, you’ve made me cry with your sweet message – in a good way of course :) Thank you so much…. Love respect and admiration back to you too, Ali xx

  62. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Angela, I am so glad that you have ordered the pendant, and very much hope it gets to you before your birthday so you can wear it on the day…. Thank you for continuing to help BCC in this way. I wish you the VERY best of health to wear it, with love, Ali xx

  63. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm -  Reply

    My dear Rhona, thank you so much for your writing to me and resending the e mail which I did receive, and will do my level best to reply to asap. All that you’ve written about the design, is all I wished for when I designed it, and ‘I hope’ it will be something for the good times as well as the difficult ones… I think you manage your illness and all that happens in your life with such grace and dignity, and I am very glad that this blog brings you comfort and company too. With my love to you and yours, Ali xxx

  64. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Oh Debz, I have only just seen your comment and am so very sorry to hear about Neal’s mum’s deteriorating condition… So very frightening for you all, and I can only imagine how sad you both are. Amazing that she is still upbeat and cheerful and as you know, I believe that staying positive brings in itself an inner strength, and some may say a feeling of peace. I just thank Heavens that Neal has you, and that his mum has you both.. try and take each day as it comes, and don’t look forwards too far… Hopefully the blood platelets will make her more comfortable and give her extra energy to cope with all of this. I am sending you my love and prayers, and know that everyone else in the Army will be doing the same. Please keep in touch – we’re here when you need us, love Ali xxx

  65. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Roberta, in the midst of all the sad news this week, I find your heartwarming comment, and thank you for it. You have made me feel more positive about everything, when having had news of two more women who didn’t make it this last fortnight. So many reasons to give it our all on the 16th October, but so happy for you that you still have your mum with you :) And you’re right there are many many other women who will also live a long and healthy life inspite of their initial diagnosis… it’s good to be reminded of that :) With love, Ali xx

  66. alison keenan October 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Jilly that’s very sweet of you to take the time out to mention the Philip Kinglsey show. I had actually come in with my hair up, and then had it expertly styled by Sinead’s stylist, and felt Fab! Great to know that Annie’s hair continues to grow – she won’t need much styling product if it carries on heading upwards!! :) Please do give her my best as always, and love to you, for ALWAYS being positive, when I know what an incredibly difficult year it has been for you. Ali xx

  67. Louisa knight October 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm -  Reply

    Hope is such a powerful thing. It brings both love and strength. No one knows what is round the corner, but hope allows us to keep on walking down the street of life. Qvc should do a bracelet with this as a charm or tag or maybe a pebble, something we can hold on to when we just need that extra bit of hope

  68. Alpa October 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    How kind you are, thank you so much. Just by being your lovely self cheers me and helps so much. I would be lost without you all. I did try taking a break from those who should be helping, but aren’t. The problem is they will not understand that no means no. Last night I had visitors turn up and although I had previously said I wasn’t well enough to have anyone stay, they still insisted. I was then told that they would stay outside until I came back. As they didn’t like that, it did not go well for me and although I made alternative arrangements for them, they did not want to know. I was not here and my entire week has been disrupted as I’ve had to cancel things that need to be done. After a particularly ugly message from my sister, I decided I wasn’t going to place myself in a situation that would be even worse for my health. I realise that families will always have issues but when you have family who will not listen or believe anything you say, it makes it difficult.
    I did not have the MRI scan. There was a problem with patient transport so it’s been rebooked for just over two weeks time. Like you, I hope that if something is brought to their attention it will be a step forward. I would have a better chance if they would do the specific type of MRI I need, but they won’t. Thank you for reaffirming that help is out there somewhere for me, it did me good to hear that. I am trying to stay positive as I know to feel otherwise is not helpful. I think I have too much going on at present and nothing seems to be straightforward. Have left the letter for the time being as I need to have the follow up letters/results sent to me first. Will try to get someone to check it for me.
    I hope Lucy, Sam and Jack are all well. Lovely photo of you and Colin on twitter. You know how dearly loved you are by all of us and we have seen how special Colin is. Will be ordering your beautiful pendant so I always have a tangible reminder of ‘I hope’
    Love to all in Ali’s Army x
    Ali, you looked stunning last night, so very beautiful and vibrant.
    Take care
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  69. alison keenan October 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Louisa, I am glad that you also see the strength the hope gives us all, and if you wanted, you could always order the pendant and put it onto a bracelet instead. My son Sam – when he saw it, leant forward to hold onto it, and it fitted perfectly between his finger and thumb… Something tangible when you need it. I do hope all is well with you, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  70. alison keenan October 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Alpa it does seem as though you’re going through it my friend, and I can only hope that this last upset will be resolved, and you can feel comfortable in your own space. I hope that the scan when it happens this next fortnight, will answer some of the questions you no doubt wish to ask. As you’ve said and I would like to reiterate, we are here for you, and I’m a firm believer in keeping on keeping on.. it will get b better I am cerain :) All the children are well thank you – Sam and Jack currently in Germany driving the Nurberg Ring.. I’m trying not to text them too often!!! Sam is a very skilled driver with the pedals adapted on his car, and has wanted to do this for years… I’ll look forward to seeing the photos! Glad you liked the photo of Colin and I – we had a lovely time, and it was good to get away. So glad you’ve felt able to order the pendant.. I’m sure you know all that I Hope for you. Love Ali xx

  71. Alpa October 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thanks for writing back so soon and for your comforting words. Sometimes when you think it is the final straw with someone it isn’t really! I was informed that I am mentally ill and in need of professional treatment, simply because they are unable to accept my illness and that I am not well enough to have anyone staying here. Honestly, Ali you couldn’t make it up. I can not see how this can be resolved as it’s already been decided I am the villain. That it is family makes it even worse for me. Apart from recent events here, I have to deal with a case of antisocial behaviour, someone else’s and not mine just to clarify :) Hopefully in time that will be resolved, once I find the right person to deal with it. I had to instruct someone to act for me and I’ve given it a fair go but I do not think they are the right person to deal with this.
    I have not heard of the Nurberg Ring but it sounds very impressive. So pleased that Sam is doing this after wanting to do it for so long. I’m sure they will not mind your texts! Glad that you and Colin had a lovely time. Fab show last night with you and Charlie, you work so well together and it was a pleasure to watch.
    Please could you pass on my best wishes to Debbie and Julian. They are much missed and Thornton shows are not the same without Debbie.
    Will keep on keeping on..as you say, thank you.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  72. Barbara Corbett October 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali don’t think you got my last text I just wondered how your arm was mine is up and down hope you are having better luck Love Barbara

  73. Jenny Barker October 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali I was diagnosed May this year and am still going through the chemo stages I was wondering if you bought your wig or wigs from qvc I have a small head teenage size really and wondered if they would be suitable also do you have to mention when ordering that I have cancer as I understand that if you have this dreaded thing that VAT is not put on to the. Price of wigs can you clarify this as this process is a mind field what with chemo fog and S/E.so glad to see you looking so vibrant now perhaps there is light at the end of my tunnel .love Jenny.Barker xx

  74. LORRAINE October 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm -  Reply

    Missed the BCC night as I was having my mammo check up, all good after 9 years so in celebration albeit late I am buying your inspirational pendant and when wearing it thoughts will to to all our lovely friends and ladies on screen and off that we have lost. Ali , love your blogs and you are a truly beautiful person inside and out.love always ,Lorr X

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