If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time…you know how much I dislike anytime that doesn’t include WARM weather and long sunny days! But…as we move through the calendar each year…summer always comes to an end…sob…and October is upon us…which happens to be BOTH National Kitchen and Bath Month and (MOST importantly) Breast Cancer Awareness month!
For both my mother and me, our breast cancer was found through our annual mammograms. Mine was more aggressive…I went through a lumpectomy, radiation and chemo, but thankfully my mother only had to have a lumpectomy.
BUT…if it wasn’t for that mammogram…who knows?! Read what I shared last year about the experience getting diagnosed…
Breast cancer was NOT in our family…neither of us tested positive for the BRCA gene…and I don’t have ANY cancer genes in my DNA (I was tested)!
Everything happens for a reason…and if you’re spiritual or not…there’s so much that’s beyond your control! The hardest lesson is just that…letting go of that control!
How I see October this year…
I realize that it’s hard to tie a breast cancer journey and remodeling together…but with both…you’re putting the outcome in someone else’s hands! That occurred to me the other day, and the similarity almost surprised me!
Letting go of control in your health OR your home is SUPER HARD!!! Both are painful…yes…I AM saying that (although we REALLY try to make the remodeling experience as painless as possible). And both feel like it’s NEVER EVER going to end…but it does!
And ohhhhhhhhhh…when it does…the relief that it’s finally over!!!
Take my word for it, as a cancer survivor AND an interior designer with almost three decades of remodeling experience…
For me…my cancer journey will continue for the rest of my life…my mother’s will, too. Although my appointments are only twice a year now…they still create anxiety. I’m not sure that will ever go away…at 10 years I’ll go to once a year for the rest of my life!
I like to say that cancer was a detour in my life…a road less traveled…but still traveled by many. It’s a very different road for each person and no two people have the same experience. I guess you can say that cancer remodeled my life!!
Sorry…just couldn’t resist that one!
But it’s true…it made me much more aware of my body, my health, my diet and VERY aware of what survivors and caregivers go through. My mother’s cancer was found the year after mine…all those times she told me she wished she could take it away from me…and then I found myself wishing the same for her!
There’s NO reason not to be smart about it…
Like all life lessons…it’s a journey. Get your SQUEEZE on if you haven’t!!! Do your monthly self-checks…and GUYS…that includes you! Male breast cancer is ON THE RISE! And if you have a mother, or breast cancer runs in your family…you MUST take this seriously. It is NOT just women who get breast cancer. Thankfully breast cancer is not the #1 killer in women…and the advances since I was diagnosed are AMAZING. But…early detection is KEY!!!
So, this month when you’re thinking about breast cancer and getting squeezed…or self-examining yourself (or someone else, wink wink), think about YOUR life journey. Think about the journey your family or loved ones are going through…the greatest gift you can give is an ear…just to listen…or a hug…oh hey, that’s another kind of squeeze!!
Cancer taught me that life is WAY too short. I can’t live in fear…cancer put enough of that in my life…live like there’s no tomorrow…live with joy…LIVE!!!!!
What are you waiting for?! GET SQUEEZED!!!!!!!!!!