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!
It is once again October and the Pink is flying. Breast cancer awareness visually pushed into the forefront for all. Put aside the millions being made by the CEO’s running the charities or those behind the merchandising of all of the apparel and take it for what it should be, a moment to step back and recognize that awareness, testing and early detection really does save lives. So instead of a long-winded post rehashing my own story or one looking at so many strong women who have fought or are currently fighting this awful disease, I ask a simple question, when is the last time you had your mammogram?
If you would like to buy a pretty pink sweatshirt, pen, baseball bat or energy drink with the special label go right ahead but I ask you to go one step further. If you yourself are due to see your doctor and have your scans get off your butt and make the call and schedule your appointment. Today and all month-long as you interact with those women closest to you, remind them to do the same.
CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EARLY BREAST CANCER DETECTION