October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many of you may have read the posts by Kristabella and The Hotfessional. I just want to put a little bit of a face to some of this.
While the statistics say that everyone knows someone stricken with breast cancer, maybe it hasn't been someone close to you. (I sincerely hope that's the case.)
My mom's family has been ridiculously stricken with cancer. My great-grandma Jones was one of four girls. Every single one of them died of cancer (Great-grandma Jones died at 88, so we were lucky to have her around so long). Her daughter, my mom's mom, died of cancer at age 33. She left behind 6 children under age 18. (Don't do the math --- it will hurt your brain.) My mom's eldest sister was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and is still fighting. All of these women had either breast, uterine, cervical or ovarian cancers. With this horrendous family history, my mom and her siblings have been convinced their entire life that they'd get cancer. It was their destiny. So, not one of them takes any sort of precaution. They believe that preventive medicine is a myth. I'm thankful to the many breast cancer (and others) charities for many reasons, but mostly because of their advertising. They reach the cynical fatalists like my mom's family.
My friend Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer almost a year to the day that her mom died from cancer. Jenny is one of the strongest people I've ever met. She fought and fought and fought. Two mastectomies and two reconstructive surgeries later, Jenny walked The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This is an amazing event where you can see survivors and people walking for their loved ones (Check out the pictures - they'll make you cry.). Jenny is in remission and still going strong!
Here's to you survivors, your friends and family who have been stricken, and the people you know who may be diagnosed with breast cancer someday. I'll do my part.