Cancer has no face until it is yours or someone you know. One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one in three people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Those are very scary odds…and they are very real. Cancer doesn’t care if you are young or old; rich or poor; nice or not. Cancer doesn’t care if its an “inconvenient time”, or whether you have the means and support system to fight. All Cancer cares about is destroying you.
Since being diagnosed I have made it my mission to educate as many women as possible about breast cancer and all its ramifications. It is imperative that we are advocates for our own health. We need to insist on having timely mammograms and if necessary, we need to push for more follow up. No one knows our bodies better than we do! Check yourself regularly. If something doesn’t “feel” right then make sure you push until you find an answer. In my case, I had a “cyst” that was discovered via ultrasound that I was told was just that…a cyst and nothing to worry about. But I was worried. My Mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was very upset. I was told I had “lumpy breasts” and that the “lump” I was feeling was normal. Well it WASN’T NORMAL. It stayed in my breast and kept growing until I woke up one night with pains in my chest so severe that I thought I was having a heart attack. I had blood oozing out of my nipple and I was scared! In a matter of two weeks I had a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and finally a biopsy. My tumor was 16cm x 13 cm…it was huge!
I have undergone a bilateral mastectomy and seven subsequent surgeries. My chest looks like Edward Scissorhands came to play. I have severe nerve damage and suffer from chronic pain and anxiety. This is what Cancer does to us. It leaves its mark on us and reminds us everyday of its existence. Having cancer doesn’t just end when the treatment does…it stays with us forever.
Even with all the damage that cancer has inflicted upon me, I am one of the lucky ones…I survived! I have lost friends, family and colleagues to cancer. I think we ALL know someone who has. Cancer touches us all in some way and it needs to be stopped. I have chosen to share my journey; the good, the bad and the ugly. I share my story with honesty and humour; as that has always been the way I deal with things. I share my story not because I love exposing every intimate detail about my journey; I share it in order to hopefully help someone else who may be going through this too.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but we need to support all cancers. We need to do something to defeat this horrible disease. SO whether its breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer…or any type of cancer, PLEASE do what you can to kick cancer’s butt! Cancer can be beaten…so let’s fight to knock it out.
#breastcancer #cancerawareness #mammogram #chronicpain #mentalhealth
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.