For me, every month, week, day and hour I think about breast cancer. I am more than “aware” of what this horrific disease can do to someone. I was diagnosed with breast cancer April 30, 2018. I underwent a double mastectomy June 13th, 2018; dealt with tissue expanders for eight months; had silicone implants put in on February 11, 2019; had those removed and new saline implants inserted on July 4th, 2019 and tomorrow I am undergoing surgery #4 to remove a hematoma left over from my mastectomy. If all goes well, this will be my last “major” surgery. I will still need some a few other surgeries, minor in comparison to the mastectomy, so fingers crossed this is the last of the “big” ones.
This has been a journey that I never imagined I would have to take. It was only a few years ago that my mother was battling the same disease. The physical and emotional roller coaster that I have been riding has been a challenge. I don’t like roller coasters. I don’t “do” rides at the fair, they make me nauseous; but I was thrown upon this ride and have had to deal with the ups, downs, twists, turns, fear and anxiety that has sometimes paralyzed me and had me begging to put on the brakes and let me off.
Whether you are a man or woman, young or old, you will experience this disease on some level. It may be a loved one, friend, spouse, neighbor, co-worker, or possibly you…but it will hit…and it hits hard. Cancer doesn’t care if you are wealthy or poor. It doesn’t care if you are well educated or not; if you are an athlete or a couch potato. It doesn’t care if you are nice or an asshole. Cancer doesn’t care about anything other than destroying you. I know this sounds harsh, but cancer is a difficult opponent. It never sleeps. It is relentless and it needs to be stopped.
Gentlemen, make sure your ladies are examining themselves and getting checked. In fact, help them out. If you feel something… tell them. That could be vital information that could save their lives. And ladies, I know how scary the thought of breast cancer can be. Out breasts are an integral part of how we feel about ourselves as women. Trust me know! BUT please remember, mammograming your boobs is far more important than instagramming them!
Some people have criticized me for being so open, honest, vocal and graphic about what I have gone through. I made the choice to open up and share my journey in the hopes that my experiences may help others deal with theirs. I want to make a difference. I want to feel that maybe by sharing, I might shine some light; educate; reassure or even cheer up someone, somewhere that has been touched by this disease. Those of us who have, are or will experience breast cancer now look at October as more than the month when the leaves change colour. It is now the month where all things become the colour of pink. This month, think of what you can do to make a difference. Think hard. Think PINK.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.