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.