Valentine's Day Everyday Greetings

Breaking the Code


The Gregg Shorthand® Fight Against 
Breast Cancer Pin
Best Breast Health

Two-time breast cancer contender is celebrating her 
38th Anniversary on February 14th, 2024

   The design represents the effect which breast cancer leaves upon the woman who contracts the disease; the pain of loss and the subsequent scars of surgery.  The pin is inscribed with the Gregg Shorthand® word for breast, it also gives the outline of a breast, its shadow and the scar cancer leaves, actual or psychological.  The design's shape also represents a calligraphic "W" for woman. The white circle symbolizes the feeling of wholeness to which a woman returns in coming to terms with her disease.  The color red was chosen because that was the color the breast cancer movement was using at the time.  This was just before the change was made to pink and pink ribbons became the symbol of best breast health.  This pin is a status symbol for the survivor. 

   This pin was designed in 1993 and shorthand, a written language known mostly by women, is used to represent the silence, secretiveness, and struggle that defines a woman's life who has to learn the lesson of breast cancer which often lasts for many years beyond the actual event(s).  The designer spent three years of her life in high school learning Gregg Shorthand® that she used afterwards only to write her Christmas lists to keep them secret from her children and to design this pin.  She struggled to work up to speed on the speed tests.  The two charms below represent the speed needed in order to get a job as a stenographer, which she never did. The text on the charms read, Gregg Shorthand® Speed Test.  What have you done with your Gregg Shorthand® education?

She received the following two awards, charms for a bracelet she did not own, her Senior year in high school for her Gregg Shorthand® dictation abilities:

For taking dictation at 60 words per minute.


   For taking dictation at 80 words per minute.

Shorthand first came into wide use in the Roman Empire, with notae Tironianae ("Tironian notes"), a system invented in 63BC by the freedman Marcus Tullius Tiro. Derived from cursive
       longhand, with many abbreviations, the system was taught in Roman schools and used to record the speeches of the statesmen Cicero, Cato, and Julius Caesar, the proceedings of the Senate, and
       later, those of church councils. It remained in use for about 1000 years, until the Latin language had changed radically and secret writing had become associated with witchcraft. --Encarta

See excerpt from a related article on Gregg Shorthand® Artist Interpretations here 

Read an excerpt:  "At the Henry: a fine focus on some well-read topics"
by Robin Updike 
Seattle Times art critic 

Walk into the Henry Art Gallery and you may think you've wandered into a show of pristine, elegant calligraphy. In one of the largest galleries in the original part of the museum is a series of brown abstract symbols each centered on a handsome piece of white handmade paper.  Too arabesque to be Japanese or Chinese calligraphy, they suggest the more rounded voluptuous strokes of Middle Eastern calligraphy. 

But on closer inspection, it seems the symbols are literally burns. They have been branded into the paper with irons hanging from the ceiling nearby. And the language, though foreign to most, should stir recognition in anyone who has ever studied Gregg shorthand®, the standard shorthand language once widely used by secretaries. Those are Gregg® symbols on the paper sheets, and they are beautiful. Viewers could pass long moments simply admiring their spare design.

Breaking the Code ©Rhea Côté Robbins, Two-time breast cancer contender is celebrating her 
38th Anniversary on February 14th, 2024
(Charms scanned at 300%, Gregg Shorthand® Breast Cancer Pin at 200%)

The Gregg Shorthand® Fight Against Breast Cancer Pin is not for sale. 
If you use this design, please link back to this page

Male Breast Cancer information

Male Breast Cancer

The Nick Foundation

Breast Cancer Information in French

Programme de Santé de l'État du Maine Pour le Sein et le Col de l'Utérus 


The Breast Form FAQ

Prothèse mammaire

Les implants mammaires

Belle et bien dans sa peau

Cancer du sein : répertoire de ressources francophones

Questions et réponses sur le cancer du sein 
Guide à l'intention des femmes et de leurs médecins
.pdf file

L'Initiative canadienne pour la recherche sur le cancer du sein

Canadian Breast Cancer Network
Le Réseau canadien du cancer du sein

Things You Can Do To Fight Breast Cancer

Purchase products which donate to research


Purchase some U. S. Postal Breast Cancer stamps , or...



Make a donation to a national organization which combats breast cancer.


More things you can do to ensure your best breast health:

Visit these wonderful sites
of Sponsors Who Care

Visit the 


Rhea, one of Saturn's many moonsI'll Give You The Moon Designs

Rhea Côté Robbins
author of

'down the Plains,' and Wednesday's Child