October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! We love to rock the pink ribbons!!!
Have you ever had a personal experience with Breast Cancer? What do you think is the most important part of fighting this disease? How do you show your support for breast cancer month?
The Naturalist Mom – Breast cancer runs in my family. I do self-breast exams often, even while nursing. About six months ago I felt a large, golf ball size lump in the lymph area of my right breast. Nothing will send you into instant panic mode. I felt like it had appeared over night, and in my mind it had. Because I was still breastfeeding I surely would have noticed it sooner, seeing how my breasts are a frequent main attraction. It didn’t hurt, which is what alarmed me more than anything. I could feel the heat of panic and nausea consume me. Was this it? Could this be that feeling I have heard women speak about before? I called the doctor and after a consultation it ended up being a severely blocked up milk duct. Praise JESUS! You have no idea the things that immediately fill your mind! Because it runs in my family it is something I am very aware of and do as much as I can to “prevent” breast cancer. I have considered being tested for the gene. In my opinion, the best thing that you can do is be aware. Don’t think it can’t or won’t happen to you, even if NO ONE you are related to has it. Male or female, breast cancer is more prominent now than ever before. Something I have considered changing is the deodorant I use (which makes contact/absorption directly into your lymphatic system) due to the cancer causing chemicals found there. Others I do make a conscious effort is my diet. Mostly, SELF-EXAM. This link is a great resource for self-exams. Know your body. Pay attention to your body. Love yourself!
The Not-So-Single Mom – I can’t say I have had a personal experience with breast cancer, but I did have a “scare” when I was 20 years old. Yes, I said 20. My doctor found a small lump during my annual visit. Boy was I scared! I lived HOURS away from my parents, and alone and was in an on again off again relationship that was on the off. I had only a few friends and co-workers around to lean on. I was sent in for a sonogram and a mammogram. Once those were done, I was scheduled for an outpatient needle biopsy. I called my mom and that is when I found out that my dad’s mother had breast cancer and a single mastectomy at 40 years old. I had NO idea before this all started, which made me even more afraid. I went to work that morning, left early for the procedure, which was ultrasound guided so I was able to “watch” it all on the screen. I didn’t feel much but pressure, and then it was over. The nurse even showed me the samples they took because I was so interested in all of it. I then went back to work! Yep, ice pack shoved under my arm half in my bra. I went back to work! I worked with ALL guys this day, and they were amazing. They barely let me do anything. One wouldn’t even let me count down the register, lol. It took about a week or so to recover to where I was comfortable moving around a lot, and only left with the tiniest scar only I can find. It felt like eternity before I got the results, which I had to go to the office to get. Luckily, it was negative and what I have is called a fibroid adenoma (I think that’s how its spelled). Basically it’s just a mass of tissue. I have made sure to go yearly since then, because I believe early detection is the key. I urge all women to see their OBGYN yearly as well. I show my support by wearing PINK as often as I can this month.
The Perfectionist Mom – I have had a couple people in my life experience the pain and terrifying nature of breast cancer. A close family friend had it and went through a very tough double mastectomy. It was one of the hardest things I had ever seen a woman go through. She lost the sense of self that made her a woman. At the time I thought it was strange. Why would her breasts be the only thing that made her feel like a woman? She explained to me that it was not just the loss of her figure but the emotional and psychological aspect. Her breasts, which she felt, made her a woman had betrayed her. Her breasts, which had given food to her children and had always been apart of her, were suddenly the enemy. It took her a while to recover but she did. We also had a grandfather who suffered from breast cancer; it’s not just women!!! He beat it thank god but that was another tough and insightful experience. We as a society to often think of breast cancer as only a woman’s game and while it most affects women, men are not immune. I do self-breast exams monthly and when the time is right will be teaching my daughter. It is something that EVERY PERSON should be doing, again not just women. The research we are doing into cancer is helping more people survive this horrible disease more than ever. I think that we are doing a pretty good job of keeping it in the forefront of society with events like The Susan G. Komen Walks and (even though it does not make any money for the cause!!!) the NFL’s Pink campaign. At least it brings awareness. We need to continue to support organization; such as The Susan G. Komen we will only make more strides in this fight. Every October I look forward to busting out the Breast Cancer Support gear I have. I try to purchase something new every year. GO PINK!
The Hot Mess Mom – Fortunately I have not had a personal experience with breast cancer. The closest for me would be my godmother’s sister who was diagnosed with it several years ago. I didn’t even find out until she was in remission and ready to tell me about her breast implants that she was able to get after the mastectomy. Breast cancer definitely scares me because it’s so prevalent. I think it’s really important for women to be proactive with their preventative health care. If we are going to survive this, more than powerful disease, then we are going to have to stay 2 steps ahead. I believe that a strong support system and a healthy lifestyle are key components to overcoming breast cancer. Those of us who are strong enough to fight for those that can’t fight for themselves can help by donating or getting involved with organizations like Susan G. Komen and Stand Up to Cancer. I myself can’t wait to be able to accomplish the 3 day/60 mile Susan G. Komen walk to help fight against cancer.
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