"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness

Every day of every month needs to be Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

I have lost dear friends to breast cancer. I have watched their shock at the news and then the pain and devastation and surgeries and treatments they endured because they wanted to live. I have been with them when they accepted the outcome and discontinued the fight for every breath.

My mother had breast cancer, then a mastectomy, then seven years later another mastectomy and she refused chemo or radiation both times. She did not have reconstructive surgery. We women aren't as attached to our uteruses as we are to our breasts. Men are victims of breast cancer too, but I can't say how it makes them feel after breast removal. I watched my mother's embarrassment and humiliation when she would strap on a heavy bra that felt like it was filled with sand each time she left her apartment. Until finally she just could not bear to wear it any longer and let go of all vanity.  When my brother cleaned out her apartment a few months ago, he discarded the heavy bras for her.

These are two items I use all the time to keep me focused on breast cancer, praying for a cure, hoping for a time when we won't lose people we love and care about to the cruelty of breast cancer. My coffee cup is  something I use often and the flashlight comes in handy every time I drop something in the carpet or when I walk outside in the dark to get something.

Tell me about your experiences with breast cancer. Some of you are breast cancer survivors. I cannot tell you how happy I am that you are here to tell your story and live your life.

My hope is that some day scientists will actually find a cure for breast cancer, not just tame the beast.

16 comments:

Ms. A said...

A young friend of my daughter's, that she went all through school with, is currently in a battle with breast cancer. She's only 30, with two young children. So sad.

DJan said...

I take it your mother is still around? My mother and my sister both had breast cancer. I was given a 100% chance to get it, so I had a prophylactic double mastectomy in 2005, and I've never had any kind of reconstruction. I take showers daily at the Y and only a few women ever even ask about it. I don't go outside without my strap-ons because I don't like to have people stare at me on the street. When I take my bra off at the end of the day, off come the bumps! :-)

Jeanie said...

My best friend died from breast cancer after fighting for about 3 years. I am wearing a breat cancer awareness sweatshirt right now.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

My mom is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed about 5 years ago, and had a partial followed by months of radiation.

In her case, the radiation has damaged her lungs and now she gets winded and dizzy really easily, just from walking. That's a very common (but not widely talked about) side effect from radiation because the lung is right there where they're shooting those rays.

But she's here with us still and I'm happy for that!

CiCi said...

Mrs A, Hopefully your daughter's friend has lots of support and help while she battles this hated disease. My heart goes out to her and her family.

DJan, you are such a spunky woman, proactive in your own health. Removing the breasts prior to cancer seems to have been the wise choice for you. I am so glad you didn't have to go through chemo, and you have an active and joyful life.

CiCi said...

Jeanie, I am so sorry to hear about your sweet best friend. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to stand beside your friend and want to do anything you can to help, only to lose her. She is always in your heart and you have the memories and photos but she still has a special place in your being.

Liz, having your mom here still is a blessing. I know it hurt you to see what she has been going through. Just recovering from the surgery is difficult and then more treatments to endure too. Will you be able to be with your mom on Mother's Day?

Brian Miller said...

cancer is scary stuff....it has touched my family in multiple ways...def always pray for a cure...

Rock Chef said...

We lost my MIL to breast cancer a few years ago. She did incredibly well, suviving with it for 10 years when the form she had usually kills within a few months.

On a slight change of subject, it seems that some of the spices that are used in Indian Curry can protect against bowel cancer (which my father managed d to beat some years ago).

One of the things that I find so terrible about cancer is that many of the treatments are still fairly barbaric and can seem to be more frightening than the cancer itself. I always hope for the appearance of treatments that are less damaging to the body, such as the ulrasonic treatment that is being tried for prostate cancer (which we lost my FIL to).

Stephen Hayes said...

Fortunately, no one in my family has been affected by breast cancer. But I'll say this, if men were the ones getting it, research on breast cancer would be far better funded. Woman need to be demanding equal rights on medical research and health care. I admit to being one of those people who believe there is currently a war being waged to control women and limit their access to health care.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm hoping for a cure too. I'm hoping for a cure for all cancers.

CiCi said...

Brian, why oh why has a cure for cancer not been found yet? Such pain and devastation should not still be in this planet.

RC, sorry about your MIL. Spices helping ward off any bad diseases is a great thing to know. One of my best friends had prostate cancer years ago and is still here.
Tough to go through though. Give Mrs RC a hug from me.

Stephen, not many people left who can claim no one in the family has fought breast cancer. There are lots of aunts on my mother's side of the family who have had it as well as cousins. Very refreshing to hear a man speak as you do, with a fair and open mind.

Mami, we are on the same page, my dear. Hope is still with us.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Last year I had my first scare but the doctor who looked further into it said it was nothing to worry about. I can't imagine the news going in the other direction. I click for breast cancer daily. They send me an email everyday. By clicking you are giving a way for those who don't have insurance to get their mamograms.

Yousei Hime said...

My mother has had it too. She's a trooper and stays on me to keep watch. I can't see a pink ribbon without thinking about her. Thanks for the post and wishing you happiness.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hmmm, Twenty minute ago I opened my reminder letter from the Women's Center to get my annual mammogram. What timing.

Sadly, I can't imagine anyone not having some experience with breast cancer-- either their own or of a loved one. It's a nasty disease that I pray for a cure for on a regular basis. I have a friend diagnosed at age 27, another on her 50th birthday, and several others who have battled the disease. Two years ago next month my step-sister lost her battle with it.

Big sigh....

xxo jj

otin said...

I wish they could find a cure. Unfortunately, it seems that every time we defeat something, the laws of the universe deal us another challenge to defeat. I guess we can never stop everything.

Brian Miller said...

happy saturday cici! hope you have a great weekend!