Six years…that’s how long it’s been since I heard those words, “you have cancer.”
A LOT can happen in six years…it’s how long World War II lasted, and it’s how long a senate term lasts. Jupiter can make it halfway around the sun in six years, too.
For me, it’s been six years of gratitude.
When I first heard those words, the questions came to me faster than I could get them out. I went into treatment, and not long after my own experience, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, too. We both found ours early thanks to ROUTINE exams. My dad’s prostate cancer was found the same way. And Rob and I have each had skin cancer—and guess how it was found in each case?
Have you gotten squeezed lately?!
If ever there were a time I could preach, it’s during Health Awareness Month—September—with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming up in October.
When was the last time you had an exam??
How important are you making your health right now?
Specifically…have the “girls” been squeezed lately? If not, and you’re of “that” age or have a family history of breast cancer…make that appointment NOW!
And if you’re a guy and there’s breast cancer in YOUR family, you need to be checked regularly as well…males CAN get breast cancer. Do y’all hear me in the back?!
For me and my family, October is an especially important month since it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. With my mother (5 years!) and me (6 years!) survivors…I want to URGE you to get your check-ups. Both our cancers were found in our annual mammogram…so I cannot even begin to stress the importance of getting checkups!
I’m starting to sound like a broken record…sorry about that, but I’m very passionate about this!
I don’t EVER want any of you to have to go through what we’ve been through.
Hearing those three words…you have cancer…are life changing. And that’s not just for the one who has cancer, but for the entire family…I can’t tell you how guilty I felt when I looked into Rob’s eyes and saw the pain. And then, when my mother told me that she had cancer, just a year later when she was diagnosed…I knew then exactly how my felt the year before: totally helpless. Trust me, your family and those that love and care about you feel HELPLESS.
There’s still SO much research to be done around breast cancer…but with early detection and the advanced technologies in achieving remission for patients, there’s as much hope if you or a love one is diagnosed.
Unfortunately, the older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer (the same is for men and prostate cancer). The rates increase after 40, hence the reason why you MUST start getting the girls squeezed on an annual basis at that age! The median age is 62 for diagnosis—half before, and half after. That’s SCARY! For men, the median age is 68 for breast cancer.
Once women hit 80, the rate starts to decline. HOWEVER…obesity after menopause increases your risk of cancer…whereas, before menopause, it decreases. But don’t rely on that…I was heavy most of my life before menopause and still had breast cancer! Weight gain has a direct impact on breast cancer risk, though—bottom line…adopt a healthy life style!
September is Health Awareness Month, and such a good opportunity to start.
For more information, you can always go to the American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about.html. Susan G. Koman has a great Breast Self Awareness Messages Card that you can download as well. Make sure you do your own self-examinations, also…MANY people find their lumps on their own.
Bottom line…if I can ever be of any help to you or your friends or family, just reach out. And remember, hearing those three words are life changing…forever. But with early detection, it is VERY survivable. So drag those you care about OUT to get their check-ups…don’t accept any excuses!
Read more from my story here…