It is hard to NOT be aware of breast cancers haunting ways, especially during the month of October. From pink-tinted fountains to the pink illumination of the Duke Energy building, to the thousands of runners in the Komen Race For The Cure and the NFL’s specialized uniforms, you’d have to be living under a rock to not notice the sea of pink everywhere you turn. The month of October definitely helps to put a spotlight on this terrible disease.
October is not only National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it also marks a very important date in my own families history. Today, October 8, 2012, marks 16 YEARS that my mother has been cancer free. For those of you know who know my mother, you already know that the nickname “Saint Sandy” falls short when actually describing her. She is the strongest person I know and she is also the hardest worker I have ever met. She has given me a lifetime tutorial on putting other people before yourself, kindness, and grace. I thank God every day that I was given the opportunity to be her daughter. I also thank Him that he blessed her with 16 more years as my mother. In typical Sandy fashion, she wants no recognition or special attention for beating this disease. But today, (and every day) I am in incredible awe of how strong she is. You Go Girl!
So, what can YOU do to fight breast cancer?
- Self Examination – I vaguely remember awkwardly glossing over the topic in 8th grade health class, but that’s about it. So here’s a link if you need a refresher like I did: Breast Self Exam
- Yearly Mammogram – Beginning at age 40, yearly mammograms are a necessity for all women. Those with breast cancer in their family history are recommended to start these earlier.
- Run or Walk in a Race- Challenge yourself to run in a 5k race and set a monetary goal. This past weekend, the Komen Race For A Cure race in Charlotte raised over a million dollars. With locations all over the world, there’s no excuse to not participate.
- Purchase Items That Support Research: Women love to shop, so why not buy items that also support breast cancer awareness. Here is a great site with 20 Awesome Products That Support Breast Cancer Awareness
- Limit Alcohol Usage: Women who have three to six drinks a week versus women who don’t drink have a 15 percent higher risk of developing cancer.
- Limit Plastic Usage: Plastic carries the chemical BPA, a weak synthetic estrogen that acts as a hormone disruptor. BPA affects how estrogen and other hormones work by blocking or mimicking them, throwing off hormonal balance and increasing the risk for cancer.
The best new is that when detected early, the survival rate is 99 percent! Do what you can to protect the women in your life. I love you Mom, thanks for being a fighter!