Thursday, October 12, 2006
A little bit of pink this October
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So I'm not just a "not so single mom" I'm also a woman looking for a cure. Here is my story. Here is a picture of me, my best friend Kelli and my mom walking throught SF just before walking over the Golden Gate Bridge on that perfect Saturday before they got blisters.
13 years ago I was diagnosed with stage II malignant melanoma. Although I am cancer free now I am still an advocate for finding a cure for all cancers. My grandfather was a victim of pancreatic cancer and after a swift painful 5 weeks we lost him while I was a toddler. I can't believe that my mom lost her dad when she was my age. Since then we have lost many others that we love including my Uncle James to Leukemia this summer. In September 2003 my mother-in-law Karen was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just a few weeks after a clean mammogram. She was talking to my father-in-law and set her book down on her chest and voila, a lump. That fall was a whirlwind of biopsies, lumpectomies, port placements, chemotherapy, baldness, radiation and a new sense of boundaries for all of us. Chris, my husband has his way of supporting his mom, he shaved his head so she wouldn't be the only one. I wanted to do something not so personally dramatic (I have a bumpy head) so I decided to raise money for breast cancer awareness, free mammograms, low cost treatments and education as well as the goal to find a cure. Avon foundation was where I found my walk. I raised over $2000 that year and helped my sister-in-law raise hers as well. It was the best weekend of my life (next to my wedding and the birth of my children). As this month goes on I will post a more detailed description and a little info about statistics and how we can help every day.
What I really wanted to say is that I hope you will take the time each month to do a self breast exam. In doing mine this month I found a lump. It was a lump that had been there awhile but had made a dramatic change this month. It was enough to warrent a trip to the doctor. He then scheduled an ultrasound for me and off I went. Don't you love it when Doc says, "It could be nothing or it could be something. Lets do an ultrasound." Thankfully the radiologist read the ultrasound while I was there and it was only... lumpy irritated, inflammed breast tissue. Causes are variable. It could be too much caffine (the last few months have been fueled by Starbucks six pump venti pumpkin lattes) or fluctuation in hormones which could be why I'm having so many migrains over the last year. So, no lump of profound sugnificance. Thank You GOD. As much as I've prayed about it he's probably tired of hearing from me. So I want all of you girls to go feel yourself up so to speak. The best time is one week from the last day of your menstral cycle.
One in seven women will be diagnosed with BREAST CANCER (not just any cancer) in their lifetime.
Early detection is the key. In studies of patients who are 5 years survivors there is a 95% survival rate.
Once every 3 minutes another women in the USA is diagnosed with BC and there are thousands of men diagnosed each year too.
We will lose a women every 13 minutes to this disease (we will lose approximatly 460 men to BC this year too).
for more information on walking with me in the San Francisco Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in July of 2007 you can comment or go to my website at