So...you're now a member of this Breast Cancer Sorority that you didn't ask to join. Now you wake up every morning to a very different life. Now every other word that comes into your brain is "cancer". It goes something like this...
I've got so "cancer" much to do "cancer" today. Where is "cancer" my grocery list "cancer" and car keys?
I understand and I want to help you.
Let Me Explain
My life has had many seasons with pink in it. I have always loved the color pink. The pink pinafore my mother made for me as a little girl with pretty ruffles was worn with great happiness. My bedroom was pink. Baby dolls were all dressed in some shade of the color as well as shoes, purses, and jewelry.
Then came the pink lipsticks and nail polish of my teen and adult years. The frosted pinks of the 60’s was just right for a young girl growing into a young woman. “Twiggy” had nothing on me. The Kardashian pink lipstick I wear now has become a trademark for me. In some weird way that pink lipstick gives me confidence and of course a smile goes with it.
After fifteen years in the wedding industry, I have seen every shade of pink. Blush, rose, ashes of roses, hot pink, pale pink and many more. Brides...girls...love pink. Never could I have imagined that my beloved pink would have a new meaning for me. Not just the simple joy of the color, but now a powerful meaning behind the color now that I am a woman with breast cancer who is in the fight to find a cure for the disease.
You've done everything right. Yoga, exercise, mindful living and eating right. We all hear it, "catch it early" and we were dutiful. We did our mammograms regularly. Prevention (mammograms) is the mantra for the best outcome for breast cancer. But there is a problem with this mantra and I bet you didn't know this...not all breast cancers, such as mine, are found by mammograms.
Working in the eighties as a Nurse Case Manager, managing the care of breast cancer patients, I knew I had a high-risk factor for breast cancer due to a strong family history. Both of my Grandmothers, all of their sisters and my great Aunts had breast cancer. I was determined to "catch it early". So, starting in my thirties, I dutifully started doing annual mammograms.
In 2015, I got an all-clear on my mammograms and sonogram and walked out to my car with Stage III Metastatic Breast Cancer in my chest. Many of us are in this “small sliver” of failed mammograms. We are many times stigmatized as bringing this on ourselves. We must not have done our annual mammograms. An assumption that is just plain wrong and does not address the real problem. The problem that the medical community needs to address.
We didn’t fail. The mammograms failed us. More on this in my blog.
So, with years of treatment (there is no quick fix for this disease) behind me, and a good hard fight for my life, I finally made it to "no evidence of disease." Now I can focus on a new season in my life of traveling the world again with my wonderful husband. Cooking, drinking great wine and loving on my kids and grandkids AND helping other women struggling with this disease.
Look, this is the hardest thing you'll ever do! The treatments are tough. Tough on you. Tough on your finances. Tough on your friends, and tough on your family but you must remember that this is only a "season" in your life.
It's your season of pink.
If you need help through your journey with breast cancer, and this "season" of your life, call me. I'm here. Breast Cancer Mentor Sisters are here. We want to be of service to you in any way we can. Read about what our services are all about and check out my blog. It's full of my personal experience and practical information.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Bachelors of Science, Family & Consumer Science
Minor In Family and Child Development
Prepare & Enrich Facilitator
Family Life Educator
Licensed Vocational Nurse, Ret.
I almost forgot...my Grandmothers and Aunts who were diagnosed in the 1930"s and 40"s, they all survived! Vibrant, strong, hard-working educators and homemakers, I never heard one of them complain about their breast cancer diagnosis. I'd like to imagine as sisters they relied upon each other for support.
Stuffing their bras with a cotton filler, they marched on into their lives living into their late nineties to one hundred and three.
I may have inherited their breast cancer propensity but, I also inherited the genes that kept them alive some fifty to sixty years after they were diagnosed.