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Breast Cancer Awareness Month | October | Think Pink & Support | Meaningful Monday

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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2011, Mother Baby Child Blog
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October was once a month that made me think of colorful trees, harvest fests, pumpkin patches and preparing for the winter months, as well as their popular holidays (Thanksgiving & Christmas). This all changed for me in 2008 when I met my friend, Sandee. She had joined a work at home business with me and was eager to make her mark in that industry. Her goal was to make money online. I worked with her as much as I could and we became friends. She was such a sweet person. It wasn't until a few months later that she confided in me that she needed to make up for the income that she had lost when she got breast cancer and could no longer work her government job. She was a breast cancer survivor that had gone through radiation therapy and ended up need a mastectomy; she was left with a weakened immune system, very bad diabetes and bills that she needed to pay. She was the only person that shared her fears, experience and detailed information about breast cancer with me.

I was not completely naive to the fears and seriousness of breast cancer. My step father had a lump in his breast, though his tumor was quickly removed due to early detection and never returned. My step-sister is also a breast cancer survivor. I was told that her experience was far worse than my step-father's removal. This was a close to home as breast cancer hit until I started learning more from Sandee. Unfortunately, she found lumps again a little over a year after we met. She actually called to let me know and shared whenever one was almost dissolved or a new one was found. She often shared her test results. Sometimes she would share feelings of sadness with me, but she was a very strong woman that rarely broke down during her experience. She was hopeful and retained her faith during the process (which is hard when your crying because you feel that your body is falling apart and that you are angry about being sick again). Her family lost her to breast cancer Thursday, May 19, 2011. It was asked that all contributions were made to the National Breast Cancer Society or Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Sandee was a mother, wife and grandmother to 3 beautiful children. In fact, her daughter and I were both pregnant with our 3rd children at the same time. It was a blessing that she was able to meet and spend time with her new grandson before breast cancer took her life. I understood that she knew her time was near when I stopped hearing from her as much. She would check in to see how we were doing and give me reports on her health; she mentioned that she was spending even more time with her grandchildren. God bless her soul.

There are a lot of events, observances and holidays in October, but this month means much more to me than the Fall season or preparing for holidays. I see and think pink much more this month and it is no longer just a pretty, girly, color in my world. Now that you have read this short blog post, I want you to take from it that breast cancer is a serious disease that kills about 39,520 women a year. You never know who you're going to meet or who in your family will get diagnosed with breast cancer. I did not know that my step-sister had breast cancer until after she had fought and survived. You need to get checked for breast cancer instead of thinking that you are immune to the disease because you do not know of any family members of friends that have / had it. Over the years, I have met more people online - that have survived or are battling cancer - than I would like to admit. It is obviously more than just a breast or womanly issue ...

"Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases in which cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and even death." (What Is Cancer: American Cancer Society)

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%). The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011: About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer). About 39,520 women will die from breast cancer" (Key Statistics About Breast Cancer: American Cancer Society)

Yes, October is a month dedicated to increasing the support and awareness of breast cancer, but the breast cancer foundations and breast cancer stores are working year round to help find a cure, educate the public, gain support and donations, as well as campaign to politicians for the needs of people with breast cancer. Please click on the links in this blog post to learn more about what is breast cancer, why you should get checked for breast cancer (mammogram) and how you can help support and increase awareness in your city.

Please do your part to help!

In Motherly Love,
Mother Baby Child


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