It has been a long time since I visited these pages. (Attached is a link to where it all started-About this page) Hard to believe that is has been 8 years since my preventative mastectomy. Sitting here I think back and just can not believe how much things have changed. When you look at the big picture, 8 years is a lifetime. At the time it was all consuming. Now my youngest is in middle school and vaguely has memory of it. Things were very tough for her during the process.The Journey
I can not even think about what all has happened in the 8 years since the surgery. My job at an elementary school which I left a year ago, a move to Florida and of course a Pandemic. Thankfully what I have not had to think about is “what if”.
- “What if” I had not had regular mammograms and reacted to the findings?
- “What if” I had decided to wait on the Mastectomy Meeting with The Cancer Specialists
- “What if” I had listened to those who said I was being “extreme” in my decision.
I have never looked back, never regretted my decision. I thank God everyday that I had the strength to make the decisions I did, decisions that were best for my family. I reach back now and share this to remind anyone who has taken a minute to read, to take care of yourself. If you can’t even remember when you had you last mammogram make a call tomorrow and schedule! Demand the ultrasound if it is needed. Do your self exams and talk to the women in your lives to do the same.
Thanks for stopping in!
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.
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!