It’s not pink. It’s not pretty. Breast cancer sucks! Actually all cancer sucks but for me breast cancer is the worst. According to breastcancer.org about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 40. She found the lump during a self breast exam. She had a mastectomy and underwent treatment. Mom was cancer free for a few years and unfortunately the cancer returned. It metastasized to her bones. She underwent more treatment and a bone marrow transplant. During this time I had become engaged and was planning my wedding. It was a bitter sweet time in my life.
The kind of bone marrow transplant Mom had was relatively new at that time and it worked! For a while. I got married and moved to Florida a few months later. We found out Mom’s cancer came back, again. She fought it for a few years but sadly passed away May 5, 1999.
I miss my Mom every – single – day.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is filled with pink ribbons, breast cancer awareness walks, fundraisers for breast cancer research and more.
It’s hard to imagine that in this day and age we need to bring awareness to any kind of cancer but we do! Early detection is key in the treatment of breast cancer, or any cancer, and the only way to make sure everyone knows about early detection is by continuing with every cancer awareness month and the messages sent out during those months as well as year round.
My Mom did detect her breast cancer early. Why did she die when there are great treatment options out there? She was diagnosed in 1986 and battled breast cancer for just over 12 years. Since she passed so much has changed in the medical community when it comes to diagnosing and the treatment of cancer.
It is important to talk with your doctor about your health and find out when and how often you need to have a mammogram and annual physical. If possible, discuss your family health history with your doctor as well. Remember to do your self breast exams monthly and keep track of what you feel and see.
Don’t know when to do them? Pick a day maybe the first of the month and call it feel them on the first, first Friday feel, ta-ta Tuesday, put a reminder in your phone for the same day every month and DO YOUR SELF BREAST EXAM. By the way – having your significant other “check” for you during intimate moments doesn’t count. After doing this for a few months you will become familiar with how your breasts feel. IF you feel a new lump or something that concerns you make a doctor appointment right away.
Don’t know how to do them? Search self breast exam online. There are many great sites with videos, pictures, and written instructions. One I found that I like is on breastcancer.org however look at all avenues to find one that fits you, also ask your doctor for help if you aren’t sure you are doing it right.
So much more can be discussed when talking about breast cancer, or any cancer. Stay tuned to read more on my thoughts about what may help you or someone you know.
It is not pink. It is not pretty. Breast cancer sucks.