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Living Life

Breast Cancer & the Strong Women in my Family

It’s October. Breast Cancer Awareness month. While I will wear pink, I’m not doing it to be trendy. I’ll wear it in honor of the women in my family. Strong, brave, fighting women.

This month means something different to me than it did in 2006.

During the last week of September in 2007, as I was hugely pregnant and on Level 3 bed rest with LittleBrother, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and radiation. She is cancer free.

This month means something different to me than it did last year.

My paternal Grandmother, the one who lost her beloved this past January, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after Grandpa passed. She finished her radiation treatments at the end of August. We continue to hope and pray that the cancer will stay away.

This month means something different to me than it did two weeks ago.

My Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. On Wednesday of this week, she had a mastectomy. From my understanding, they also had to take a large number of lymphnodes. We’re awaiting official word on the “stage,” but lymphnodes and the size of the mass (over four centimeters) leave us worried. And still, I know my Aunt. She’s a fighter.

My genetic code apparently stinks. I will be thirty in six months, but I’ve already had a mammogram due to a weird lump that turned out to be nothing earlier this year. I’m glad for that mammogram as I now have a base for future reference. I still do my monthly self exams. I have to. Despite my age, breast cancer does happen to young women, like my friend Robyn whom I worked with at the news station. I need to be around for my children.

I know that Breast Cancer Awareness month is met with some skepticism about the for-profit pink selling and so on. For our family, however, it is a reminder that we are strong, fighting women who don’t give up when the diagnosis is given. I don’t know what my future holds, but I know that I am so profoundly blessed to have these amazing women in my life.

If this post does nothing more than remind you to do your self breast exam this month, my purpose is complete. If you want to write a post today about your experience, go learn how you can be a part of a bigger movement.

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contests

Pink for October Giveaway

This giveaway has no monetary value. You can’t trade it to get something else. But it means a lot to me. And others like me. If you’re not familiar, hit up Pink for October and read why turning your blog pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month means something.

A year ago (on the 29th), my Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. And I’ll admit. I knew nothing about Pink for October prior to that diagnosis. I was thrust into thinking about my Mom’s mortality and was searching for a way to find comfort in the craziness of it all. Someone pointed me to Pink for October and I happily “went pink” for the month. Did it change my Mom’s diagnosis? No. Did it spawn some conversation with family members and friends who visited the blog? Yes. Did I remember to write a few posts on some important breast cancer topics? Yes, I did. And that’s what is behind it.

Next month I will be sharing some very important posts on the topic of breast cancer. I’ll be interviewing a few people and sharing some stories as well. And, of course, the blog will go pink (even though I finally just incorporated red into the, you know, fire blog). Our pink layout will go live on the morning of October 1st.

And so can yours.

I know some bloggers aren’t all that great at changing layouts and color schemes and the like. And, truth be told, I’m nowhere near as awesome as some other techie-guru-bloggers. But I can hold my own. And I’d like to help another blogger who struggles in this area “go pink” for October. And so…

Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to go Pink for October. You don’t have to be personally touched by an immediate family member to care about breast cancer to enter. Anyone, male or female, is allowed to enter. On September 29th at 12:30pm, I will close comments and select a winner (via random.org). Make sure your email is correct and you’re answering it on that Monday because I will contact you immediately and we’ll get to work on something pink for you. I’ll announce the winner to the rest of my readers on October 1st when we go pink ourselves. I will also feature the winner on my sidebar for the month.

While you’re at it, follow Pink for October on Twitter.  (Or me!) If you don’t win the contest, stay tuned as I’m also going to have some pink background resources linked up here next Monday. (And if you absolutely need some direction, don’t hesitate to contact me.)