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!

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Me, My Family, Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

Mark the date

keep calmI was standing amongst a group of women the other day listening to the conversation.  I am not fully sure how, but the topic of breast cancer came up.    Three of the four of us standing there lost our mothers to the disease.  As I looked around another woman close by recently lost a sister.  It is not hard to find someone who’s life has not been affected by breast cancer, it seems in my travels it is nearly impossible.

According to recent statistics, about 1 in 8 US woman will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.  As you stand in a room look around, count the woman in the room. Who will it be?  With numbers like that what still astonishes me are those who do not have a sense of urgency to be checked.  Women who find it to be too much of an annoyance to have the yearly mammogram done.  For many of us the mammogram was useless.  I used to also have yearly breast ultrasounds.  If you are not fortunate enough to have a doctor who will write the scripts together you have to wait for the alarming phone call letting you know the mammo was inconclusive or even worse saw something abnormal. It is probably nothing they say but back to the radiologists for the ultrasound, very time-consuming.  Most of my lumps never showed up on mammograms.  Many times I heard it was probably nothing.  Several of those ended up in biopsy until the day when it was the beginnings of something.

dateI was able to react, to take control of my situation because I was vigilant with my screenings.  I hated it of course but a necessary thing.  I had my first Mammogram at 22 years old and my first biopsy soon after.  Mammograms, Ultrasounds surgeries and MRI’s made it clear what my future would hold.  Because of screenings I was able to seek out advice, talk to experts and make the decision to have a preventative mastectomy before ever having to face any type of cancer battle, thank god!

Complain, whine, scream if you must but make your appointments and have the screening done!  Somethings are just too important to wait!

Me, My Family

It’s all in a Bra

As a pre teen many young girls with visions of the perfect cleavage will take matters into their own hands and add to the bounty that nature provides or in some cases fails to provide.  My own young girls talk often of the day they will have boobs.  Let’s be honest, in the view of society, they are the “visual” things that makes a woman.  MIllions spent each year on the perfect bra, marketing telling every woman that is what makes you “sexy”.

For well over a year after the mastectomy and DIEP surgery, once I could finally wear a bra, I was limited to one that was padded.  Even after a year of healing, scars can still cause a good amount of discomfort.  As I would look in the mirror I felt like some teenager who was trying to increase what nature had provided.  The difference here as we all know is that what nature provided to me had plans to attack.  What I have instead is created by amazing plastic surgeons.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time.  The perfect bra, no lining, no padding. For the first time in almost a year and a half I can look in the mirror and see only me. I am comfortable in my own skin.  I am happy with the reflection in the mirror, other than the few pounds I could stand to lose 🙂 but hey who doesn’t right?

Everyday since July 2, 2012 there has been a “new” something.  Since that date I have achieved many milestones.  I remember first being able to finally sit up without assistance, and the first time walking around the block with the girls.  There was lots of pain, many tears and worlds of relief knowing I made the right decision.  This milestone may not seem like much to many but to me, it is about comfort and confidence and therefore huge.  And shopping in VIctoria’s Secret again in pretty cool also 🙂