Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pink Ribbons in October

Intermixed with the orange and black streamers and the jack-o-lanterns and the assorted horrors of October, you’ve probably seen a lot of pink and pink ribbons.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I’m always slightly darkly amused by the idea of a month for “Awareness.” I – like probably most of you – have had someone in my life battle with this disease. And even if I were lucky enough to be untouched by someone else’s fight with breast cancer, the fact I have breasts keeps my awareness of this disease pretty high.

I lost a beloved aunt to breast cancer six years ago. We lost a close family friend when I was 18. Two years ago, my Fabu CP faced her own cancer diagnosis. Pam, I’m glad to say, is fine – healthy and cancer free. She caught it early and beat it. I thank God for that at the same time I mourn for the women who don’t find out until it’s too late.

Like my aunt.

I can’t help but think that the debate (discussion, fight, debacle – whatever you want to call it) that is going on right now in the US over the future of health care should be coming to a head during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Of all the “awareness” we have of diseases, breast cancer is one that so many of us have personal experience with.

Whether it was (or still is) the battle you watched someone you love fight, or whether it was the suspicious lump in your own breast that scared the bejeesus out of you, you were probably very aware of health care at that time. Maybe these two things happening right now is some kind of sign.

So Save the Ta-Tas! Feel Your Boobies! Pick your slogan, but do it. Get your mammograms – they’re not the worst thing in the world your breasts have been through, and I’m now officially old enough to know for sure.

Go click to fund mammograms for women without health care. Walk for a cure. Keep an eye (and a hand) on your own breasts. And send good thoughts and healing vibes (prayers, if that’s part of your faith,) out to everyone battling breast cancer.

I’ll be making a donation to Breast Cancer Research this month. I’ll do it in memory of Carol and in honor of Pam. If you’ll post a name of someone you know and love who has been diagnosed with breast cancer in the comments, I’ll include them too.


Smarty Pants said...

Why do you have to get me all weepy this early?

Save the tatas!

PM's Mother said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful blog. You prompted me to go to my calendar to check when I had my last mammogram (it will be a year next month.) Bless you.

Word verification "dises" -- too much like disease.

Playground Monitor said...

I get my mammogram in May each year. My clinic makes the appointment for me and sends me a pink card (appropriate, huh?) to remind me.

PC and I didn't plan this but my blog tomorrow is a piece by a gal who was my neighbor up til July. She'll give her take on dealing with breast cancer. So come back tomorrow and read Kelley's story.

We're lucky to live in a time when early diagnosis is available and treatments are so effective. Selfishly speaking, though, I hope all I have to do is have the mammies grammed and never have to check out the treatment side. It was scary enough being called back so they could check a spot with ultrasound and find it was ONLY a fluid-filled cyst. It looked as big as a walnut on the ultrasound when in fact it was the size of a pinhead.

edwin sanchez said...

Most definitely supporting the cause...

Sherry Werth said...

I was a little behind on my checkups but after I read this I got on the phone and scheduled my appointments. Thanks for posting PC.

Pamela Hearon said...

You humble me with your kindness, CP. I lost my sister-in-law Noretta 7 years ago. She battled hard for 2 years. She's one of the reasons I always stayed on-top of things.
So much can be done now. Amazing things if it's caught early enough. Thanks for this blog today. Let's keep getting the message out there: the best protection is early detection.


Angel said...

My hubby was watching football on Sunday and I asked him why the players were wearing pink gloves, as I'd never seen that before. He said they did it in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. How cool is that!

My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer. Because she had no health insurance and was very poor, she didn't receive early treatment, nor the aggressive treatment she needed. There were other contributing factors, such as smoking, but it has made my family hyper aware of both cancer and health care.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I just had pictures taken of the "girls" Friday. Even when I was unemployed several years ago, I put money aside to get this done. And thank you for bringing additional awareness.

Kathy said...

I keep a close eye on the girls as my Aunt Elizabeth was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy. She's doing fine now.

Having to go back and get 4 different tests done one year put a scare in me. I also slipped up one year and didn't get my mammo on time. I won't do that again.

PC's CP! (waving at ya')

Laurie said...

My friend from college, Cherie has been battling breast cancer for over 10 years! Last year, her sister was also diagnosed with Breast cancer.