Why You Need To Stop Sharing Those Useless Red Love Hearts

My left boob is sore. It hurts when you apply any pressure to it and it feels a little angry to touch. The scar that was left after my lumpectomy has well and truly healed but it’s what lies underneath that’s the worry. And when I say worry, I mean it’s a pain, a complete pain in the ars… boob. I’m assured it’s nothing sinister (I had an MRI a few months ago) but it’s a dull and ugly pain.

My lumpectomy scar has a faint black line running through it, my new surgeon tells me it’s because of my old surgeon’s incompetence, that he didn’t remove the dye and so every day, every shower, every change of clothes and every time I look down, I am reminded of breast cancer.

I’m reminded of breast cancer often, it’s not just the pain in the boob. It’s my hair which is slowly growing back, it’s the weight gain from chemo, it’s the shoulder that’s possibly frozen or just in a mess because of the radiotherapy. I’m reminded of cancer in breast cancer groups when I see that women who once posted of hope and determination have “gained their wings”.

I am reminded of breast cancer when friends tell me of their mother, their sister, their aunt and their friend because they know we now have something in common. I am reminded by doctors who want follow up appointments but mostly I am reminded by my own body. Every ache, every pain in my mind is the return, the metastasised truth of brain, lung or bone – because once you’ve been told you have cancer once it’s easy to imagine being told the news again.

And here’s where I bring up those stupid red love hearts. The love hearts that are posted in status updates and private messages. Private messages to me and 262 of your closest female friends. The love hearts that raise no money. The love hearts that provide no cure, and the love hearts that so many ignore because they’re some sort of secret Facebook society.

Please stop it with your love hearts.

Earlier today a girlfriend in a breast cancer group shared her annoyance “Some random person I don’t even know messaged me that heart…so I sent her back a pic of my chest.”


This is what breast cancer looks like. It’s not pretty and pink with cute little red hearts.

If you want to share and be aware don’t post a heart on Facebook – go with a friend for a check up, donate to a research organisation or volunteer to help out someone in your community.

A red heart in your status update? It’s useless.

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  1. Lisa Ferland says

    I’ve gotten a few of those heart requests in my Facebook messenger and while I know they are from well-intentioned women, I didn’t feel right posting a heart on my timeline knowing that it was nothing more than an internet chain letter. Thank you for sharing your story and reality. It means so much more than most people will ever understand.

  2. As a sewer, that looks really botched. Could they have not gone with the impractical gather stitch and perhaps put a few neat darts in it?

    • Leanne H says

      Lol! I wish they would have 🙂 My first mastectomy was 2.5 years ago, it’s lovely (that little new scar is where they tried to revise hypertrophic scar tissue, it hasn’t worked.)
      My second mastectomy was in January, different surgeon, I have a hematoma that isn’t reabsorbing…and am not thrilled at all with the puckering effect. Revision surgery is in my future…if they stuff that up, I’m calling you!

  3. Thank you for writing this… I’ve always found those hearts and shares to be a “look at me and how much I care slogan” While those that really care and help do so quietly and far more effectively. Social media seems to be promoting indivualism to another level…

  4. Jenni from Styling Curvy says

    Agreed. I wrote about this recently too, befuddled me that even after I explained why I hate the hearts people still got angry with me and tried to defend them.

    Raise money, raise awareness, learn about exactly how to check your boobs properly, cook a meal for a family going through cancer but stop making yourself feel like you’re doing something by sharing a heart that according to statistics more than 80% of people will scroll past.

  5. Megan Kaftan says

    yes, and get a camera up your bum!

  6. Karen Lott says

    Thanks for this. I feel the same about the hearts, and have posted a few times about it. It’s time to get real about this, which you have very bravely done!! xx

  7. donna beers says

    I have had breast cancer, and I love that woman share a heart on behalf of breast cancer victims and survivors. I have seen worse posted on Facebook, and if women want to show their support and kind thoughts by placing a heart on their timeline so be it xx

  8. donna beers says

    ❤ xxx

  9. Linda Aguilar says

    I empathize with every beautiful soul who has battled cancer but I view it a little differently. I was diagnosed with cancer in situ of the cervix in 1985. Through 30 plus years of research and home remedies I have survived and learned that cancer is not the enemy it is made out to be by the big medicine, big pharmacy conglomerates who don’t provide any answers except those that make them HUGE PROFITS. I have learned that the body will ALWAYS DO WHAT IS BEST for it’s survival. Cancer is the result of our actions and lifestyle choices for the most part. And, because we caused it, we can also un-cause it. Cancer is an ULTIMATE state of TOXICITY. That is why it is so very absurd to think that adding MORE TOXINS will solve the problem. It won’t! It will just weaken even more an immune system that is already severely compromised. Our immunity is all we have to battle the out-of-control growth of malignant cells. So who in their right mind would willingly compromise this system even more in their quest to heal? Answer- someone who drank the Big Three Koolaid. I’m sorry ladies but I can’t support cutting off body parts or giving lots and lots of money and time to medical interventions that only serve to line the pockets of drug manufacturers, doctors, and hospitals but do nothing towards healing cancer. We as potential sufferers of our own making need to wake up to what we are doing and really figure out if it is how we want to spend our hard-earned money and resources not tomention our time or if we want to actually learn how to take care of ourselves and our loved ones so as to avoid the pitfalls of this so-called illness and potential others?

  10. Lorraine Firth says

    having gone thru a mastectomy myself i can so easily identify, i have ( on occasion ) shared the hearts on facebook, but i also have raised a large amount of money for cancer research , if every person that shared one of those hearts gave a small donation would be fabulous xx

  11. Fiona McOwan says

    damn right, not pretty or pink. I am being investigated again (other breast) and started crying when the lovely radiologist doctor explained all the risks of biopsy under my arm. Not because of what she was saying, just that it reminded me of all the shit I went through 10 years ago.

  12. Adrienne Catherall says

    Oh my goodness, thank you for putting into words what I already know and feel. And the love hearts ….aargh!! The bane of my life!!!! I have had it twice, and am completely happy with my scars, just not the side effects of the meds that block the hormones. Thanks again for a great article

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