Unless you live under a rock or are a hermit, you know that, over 25 years ago, the month of October was identified as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbons, pink lights, walks to fund research, among other things, are plentiful for the 31 days of the month.
For the longest time I didn’t personally know anyone who had breast cancer. In recent years though, I’ve known more and more. Perhaps that’s a function of my age, since the diagnosis of the disease typically happens later in women’s lives. What I’m most frustrated by when I hear of another woman I know having been given the dire news from their doctor, is how much younger some of these women are than I am. Two of the women I work with, young, vibrant, wonderful; are both under age 40. Not that I don’t always get a bit angry when I hear the news, when it’s a younger women it gets me that much more ticked off.
Most recently, a 36-year old woman I work with was diagnosed with stage IV, lobular breast cancer. She knew something was wrong and could not get doctors and other health care providers to pay attention; saying to her when she pointed out the lump on her neck and the one just above her breast, we’ll wait and see. Shame on those doctors for not immediately taking action!!
Now, I must use more than one hand to count the number of women I know who have breast cancer. Co-workers, friends of friends, and at least one of my very good friends from college (Llama). Ladies, I encourage you to be sure you do your self-exams every month and have your mammogram done!
All month long my Facebook profile picture has been the prolific pink ribbon–it will stay that way until November 1st. I hope that you might consider doing the same.
Graceful, determined, mindful, focused; these are adjectives that I call to mind when I think of the women I know who have battled breast cancer. Some successful, some not so. Regardless of their individual situations, I am thankful today for these women who’ve shown me how to live life!
- What is Breast Cancer? What Causes It? (nursenicolembrown.wordpress.com)
- October- The Month of Pink and Only Pink (madeformedia.wordpress.com)
- From Pink Ribbons to Green Plates: Could a Plant-based Diet Help Cut Your Risk of Breast Cancer? (onegreenplanet.org)