Women agonize… over cancer; we take as a personal threat the lump in every friend’s breast. ~Martha Weinman Lear, Heartsounds
It’s been 19 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 19 years since a mastectomy. 19 years since reconstruction. 19 years since chemo.
Most days I feel very far removed from the world of breast cancer. I personally believe that’s healthy. October tends to overwhelm me these days with all the ribbons and ads and stories. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to be a victim. Honestly, some days I want to pretend it didn’t happen to me. That’s the truth. Breast Cancer does make you stronger. It also takes a toll.
I recently emceed the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Butterly Ball and met many young women recently diagnosed. They made me remember how hard that first year is. How much you want to get past it and just live your life again. I remember and know there are too many women being told they have breast cancer despite all the pink ribbons on soup cans and yogurt.
I just want a cure.
I don’t want my daughter or anyone else to go through this hell.
What can you do? Make sure you do breast self exams. That’s how I found my breast cancer when a mammogram and a doctor missed it. But still get a mammogram and get a checkup once a year. Don’t wait. Don’t let years go by and not take care of yourself.
I’m grateful to be here. Grateful I can be frustrated that there’s still no cure and though it seems small to get on a pink ribboned tread mill to raise awareness and money, today, I’m okay with that.