Me, My Family, Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

5 years down the road.

Another anniversary has come and gone, I can’t believe it was 5 years ago.  July 2, 2012, I checked into Cooper University Hospital to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.  The surgery was an easy decision for me,  multiple prior biopsies which grew more suspicious over the years and a mother who died of Breast cancer.   Five years later, I have NEVER second guessed my decision.  I have spoken freely with anyone who is interested.  For a long time everyone I knew was fully aware of my story.

Since my surgery 2 friends have been diagnosed with beast cancer,  one in remission and the other still deep in the fight.  A third friend is just at the beginning of “something strange in the imagining” stage, prayers that it is nothing.  What frustrates me are the  friends who just do not find it important to get their yearly mammograms.  All three of the women I just mention were made aware of their situations via routine screenings.  I am not here to preach, maybe I should, what I would do is encourage everyone to be screened regularly.

This years anniversary has me a bit more on edge.  I now have a daughter who is a few short weeks from 13 years old and puberty is among us.  As she fills out, a fear in me grows.  Aside from my own risk factors, my daughters have a higher risk than I did having 2 grandmothers with breast cancer, women who sadly my girls never had the opportunity to meet.  I wish I could do something to change those factors for my girls but there are some things Mom can not fix.  What I can do is support my children as we face the future head on.

Me, My Family

Pink reminder, get your mammogram

 

October, the world a wash in pink everywhere you look, corporations cashing in on the cancer struggle of millions of women.  I had no intention of posting anything this month, I don’t post much these days.  My mind was changed after receiving the news that another friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her journey begins, so many lives affected.

The questions from my own daughters are now deeper.   Four years is a long time in the life of a child, they remember my surgery but did they really understand?  Last night my little one, now 9, asked if I could ever get “that cancer” since I had the BPM.  For me, the much more important question is how high of a risk my beautiful daughters have and how do we handle those risks as they grow.  The only answer I can find right now, control what you can.  When was your last mammogram?  If you don’t remember pick up the phone and call for an appointment today!    Talk to every women in your life and remind them to do the same.  If you like pink that’s great but keep in mind that if millions were not being made by every company making or wearing all of that pink, it would not be happening.  Instead use the pink as a reminder, get your screening!

“An ounce of prevention is worth  a pound of cure”- Benjamin Franklin

There of course is no cure for cancer but the studies are very clear, the earlier breast cancer is found the better the chance treatment will be successful.  Call for your mammogram today!

My Family

Correctness-A downward spiral

Democracy A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.  

Through school I was always taught that the basic belief of democracy was the belief that  the rights of the many outweighed the rights of the few.  As kids, we would vote for everything from which game to play to where to eat, of course with the majority vote winning.  The outcome of those votes were accepted, even if not loved by all because everyone at least had input.

Recently things are far from the free world in which I grew up. The rights of the few in many corners seem to far outweigh those of the masses.  Freedom of speech squelched by small groups who feel they have the right to quiet ideas they do not like.  Political rallies shouted down by a handful interfering with the rights of the thousands who attended to hear the speakers.  Media outlets turning off microphones to guests daring to disagree.  A free and fair media replaced by big money corporations drilling in ideology from both sides relentlessly in a 24 hour news cycle.

The hatred and division are clear in all aspects of our lives,  preventing the free flow of ideas.  Social media filled with silly memes and those who must post every article they see supporting the ideas they share.   Public shaming of people who not too long ago were allowed, even encouraged to live and speak freely.   I find it fascinating that as a society we are so concerned about bullying in our schools yet on a too often regular basis otherwise intelligent adults are bullying each other.

I am sad and aggravated.  I long for a better time.