When I was younger I thought that a diagnosis of breast cancer was a death sentence. I remember when a mom of one of the Brownies in my Girl Scout troop was diagnosed. I went home and cried, unable to believe that a fourth grader could lose her mom. However, that wasn’t the case. I still see that mom every so often around school and at the high school graduation last year.
Years later the mom of one of my son’s friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was in a more advanced stage. I was again scared for the family, especially since they had a son my son’s age. All I could offer was support and prayers.
She is doing awesome and has become a voice for breast cancer awareness. Pink has become her signature color.
Both of these women were under 40, the age where most doctors say you need to get a mammogram. What’s a woman to do?
I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on television, but I do listen when the doctors say to do your monthly breast exam and if something feels wrong to get it checked out. Mammograms are not scary. They’re not exactly comfortable, but it’s survivable and it could save your life. Things that you might never feel in a self-exam can be revealed on the films.
Thankfully no one in my family has had to experience breast cancer, but I know more people now who are being treated or have survived the disease. Every one of them has become an inspiration and a lesson about life.
You never know what’s coming down the pike this day and age. Live life to the fullest. Saving for a rainy day is a good idea, as long as you remember to jump in the puddles once in a while. It’s those memories that survivors and their families will cling to during treatment and relive after treatment.
For those who are battling now, know that we are all behind you. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, spread the knowledge and bring on the pink!
- Michelle Libby