Breast cancer awareness is a cause that is close to my heart and seared into my soul. I lost my mother to breast cancer last November. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease and in spite of all best efforts and treatment, it spread fast and took her from us far, far too soon.
I am not going to argue pink washing and ribbons and whether it is all "right" or "wrong." If my loss taught me anything it is that there is no right or wrong. There is only what there is. And while I strongly object to the rampant consumerism and the corporate money grab that has unfortunately become such a pervasive part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in the end, if all of these pink ribbons all over the place and BCA this and BCA that reminds just one woman to get checked, find her malignancy early and her life is saved; if just one daughter is not made to endure the devastating loss that I did, I am not going to speak too harshly against it.
I am going to encourage all of my gentle readers, women and men - yes, men can and do get breast cancer and when men are diagnosed, their chances of dying are often higher because most men don't know that they are at risk and they don't take steps to check themselves and their cancer is caught too late - to look to your breast health. Talk to your doctor, assess your health, your own risk factors and take appropriate action for you.
Learn how to do a proper self exam and do them, on a regular basis. Most cancerous lumps are found by self exam or "by accident." A wet, soapy hand in the shower, the caress of a lover, just applying body lotion. Get to know your breasts really well. How they look and how they feel and keep an eye and a hand out for any changes. And if you do see or feel anything, even if it seems small or like "nothing" get your ass in and see your doctor! Better to get examined and scanned and get the all clear then to let something tiny, that can be stopped in it's tracks early get out of control.
Talk to your doctor about the appropriate scans for you, for your age, breast tissue type and risk factors. Breast cancer can strike at any age. Teenagers have been afflicted as have people in their eighties or later. Mammography, the gold standard of breast scans isn't so effective for those who have dense breast tissue. If you are young or have dense tissue, have a chat with your doc about ultrasound. Tumors missed by mammogram can found by ultrasound. Again, talk to your doctor!
This is important. This is real, gentle reader. Please take some time to click the links to the American Cancer Society's sections on breast cancer. There is a lot of information, there are hard facts that we all need. We need to be informed, educated and aware. This is about our lives, our futures and those of the people we love the most. Make every month of your life and the lives of those you love Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don't live in fear. Live aware. And live.
From the American Cancer Society website:
What are the key statistics about breast cancer?
Last Medical Review: 09/25/2014
Last Revised: 09/25/2014
Far more information can be found here.
And because I like to do a little nail art now and again and I want to do my small part:
Polishes used are from the OPI Pink of Hearts 2014 duo and OPI Alpine Snow. The ribbon decal came in the Pink of Hearts set, as did the clear crystals. The pink crystals are from my small nail art stuff drawer. (It's a very small drawer! Hee! Hee!)
It took me four days to write this post and it isn't as "well written" as my others. It was difficult and painful and at times, my fingers didn't want to move across the keyboard and I had to stop and go away but I felt deeply motivated to write it, regardless of how long it took me or how it came out, in the end.
Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope with all of my heart that you also clicked the links and read all of the very good, very necessary information provided. If you or someone you love is fighting breast cancer or any form of cancer (yes, I know that other forms exist, all too well. My dad died of prostate cancer in 2008) just know that my thoughts and my every good hope is with you. Cancer sucks! It is horrid and evil. It is my dearest wish that one day, we can wipe it out.
Be well, gentle reader. Cherish every day. Be happy and don't forget... Pee before you polish. It sucks to finish a manicure and have to dance until it dries.