Monday, October 3, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Ann Frank who would have turned 82 on June 12

 Hello ladies! October is National Breast Cancer awareness month, so do your part to help yourself by doing self breast exams and getting mammograms. Cancer is a terrible disease and it literally touches everyone. I am sure that you all know a sister, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, a friend or even yourself who has had cancer or has lost someone to this terrible disease.

Breast cancer has touched my family in many ways, it took a young cousin, who left behind three boys; her mother, my aunt who was diagnosed three years ago,  luckily has had a better outcome and is now celebrating 3 years cancer free. IT took my grandmothers sister and has caused many a scare in my own sisters who have found lumps more than once over the last few years.

It also came to visit my own home, when I was a teenager, young, naive and maybe a little stupid  my mother was diagnosed at the age of 36 with breast cancer. My memories are a little fuzzy of this time because I do not actually remember my parents telling us my mom had cancer or even knowing what it was. I do remember my grandparents were devastated, especially as my grandfather was fighting a battle of his own, lung cancer, at the same time. I really only remember my  mom coming home a few days after her mastectomy and me absolutely not wanting to talk about it or even ever see her scar.

I remember my mom having to do arm exercises and then eventually having reconstructive surgery.  My mom tried to lighten our load by joking about her "cutlet" insert and once she threw it to me to touch and feel and I absolutely freaked out. I did not want anything to do with that thing. My mother is now a 30 year survivor! I am so proud of her and I am so thankful to God for giving me such a wonderful mother. I thank God on a daily basis for her guidance, care, love and her life. I worry each year when she returns for her annual tests and am anxious until they return the results and give her an all clear.

Although I routinely do self breast exams, I am always, and I mean ALWAYS nervous when I do them because what if I find something? In addition to my monthly self breast exams I have a yearly mammogram. Ladies, go for your first mammogram early in your life, so that your doctor can establish a baseline of what your breasts look like, then every year after he can make comparisons to your new slides.

Do not wait if you think you have a problem! One year I was talking to my mammographer and she told me that women have come in with open wounds on their breasts because they were afraid and in denial. Also ladies, do not let anyone deter you from taking care of yourself. You are legally entitled to a yearly mammogram! There are conflicting medical reports out there in the last few years, but do not take a chance.

Lets all do our part for Breast Cancer, get out there and "think pink", buy pink, eat pink and even drink it, there are many companies participating in this endeavor. Who knows one day we may even find the cure.

1 comment:

  1. It has touched my life too. I signed up for a midnight cancer walk in May :) XOLaura


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