That’s a little tongue -in-cheek title for a serious subject I wanted to talk with you guys about today. October is one of my favorite months for a lot of reasons, and one of those is it’s the month we draw attention to a horrible disease that affects so many.
I’m always astounded by the number of people I meet who have been directly affected by breast cancer. Almost everyone has a story to tell about their mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, or even themselves and the battle they’ve fought with cancer. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, about 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. When you think about it in those terms, it’s no wonder so many people have a breast cancer story.
I am one of those people. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47, and I can unequivocally say that it is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. Even now, I’m emotional typing those words. It was the first time that our family had been directly affected with a major illness, and when you hear the word “cancer” your heart rate picks up and you really don’t hear anything after that. Her disease was caught pretty early, and I will be forever grateful for that. We found out during the course of this journey that a matter of weeks can make a huge difference.
My mom is an extremely strong person. I know everyone says that about their mom, but mine is inspiring. She’s definitely had some situations in her life that weaker people couldn’t have handled. She did so beautifully while raising my sister and I, and I credit her a lot for the person I’ve become. When it came to tackling cancer, she was no different. She’s told me since how scared she was, but you’d never know it to watch her during this process. She, as always, faced the problem head on, and kept the rest of us calm.
My mom had multiple surgeries, several rounds of chemo, and has been on medication that has had some “unpleasant” side effects. Even with early detection, my mom’s experience with breast cancer was not an easy one which is why it’s so important for women (and men!) to arm themselves with knowledge on this subject. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting regular checkups and mammograms. If you have a family history of breast cancer, have an honest conversation with your doctor so they’re aware. Most women start mammograms at the age of 40, but my sister and I will start at 35 because of our family history.
My mom is on year five of her remission, and has consistently gotten great results at every check-up. This is from the trip John and I went on with her and my step-dad this summer. I’m so grateful that we have so many more family memories to look forward to.
Here is a list of things that you can do to limit your risk of contracting breast cancer:
I know several of us in the blog world have drawn attention to this topic this month. October is a great opportunity to spread the word about awareness and I encourage all of you to be proactive! My hope is that I live to see the cure. Let’s make it happen!
Have you had a family member affected by breast cancer?