Would you know the face of courage if you saw it?
This blog is meant to send a very important message to all my friends on Active Rain.
- I'd like to introduce you to the faces of Courage. Our Military, Firefighters, Police and First Responders all possess the kind of courage heroes are made of. We know that, and should always give them their due. They are entitled to our utmost appreciation for their skills and selfless sacrifices for us and others.
Ordinary people you see on the street or meet in the grocery store can possess that quality, but you would never guess it. People who have fought a foe so life altering and huge, yet it is but a speck under the glare of a microscope.
- These faces of courage have fought a battle single handed and virtually alone. They did not have comrades in arms standing along side them facing down the enemy. They did not have brother and sister officers to watch their backs. They put one foot in front of the other and walked down a dark and unknown path towards the light of recovery.
Please view the faces of courage. These lovely women are but a very small sample of the tens of thousands of women who have been or are in the battle of their lives.
Lovely - each one is a beautiful woman.
Each one of them is young.
Each one battled breast cancer.
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is not just a time to commit to wearing pink ribbons, running races or raising money for research. It's a time to take the initiative to make others aware of this disease and encourage them to take it seriously.
- There are many myths associated with breast cancer. Breast cancer is a catch all diagnoses for many different types of cancers which invade the breast tissue. There is not a generic or one size fits all breast cancer.
The kind Sally has may not be the same kind Joan has. Some cancers are very aggressive, some are invasive, some are not. If all breast cancer was the same then the survival rate should be the same. It is not!
- You can be afflicted with breast cancer even if there is no history in your family. Many women feel it won't happen to them because no one in the family ever had it. It is a fallacy that if you lack a close relative with breast cancer you are automatically insulated from acquiring the disease.
1 in 8 women will be afflicted in their lifetime. Look around in a restaurant, the grocery store or at church. 1 in 8 women sitting there will be in a battle for their very lives. Can you pick them out?
- Breast cancer only strikes older women. WRONG! More and more younger women in their 20's, and 30's are being diagnosed each year. The younger they are afflicted the more serious it can be. So the education about breast cancer should include women of EVERY age.
I can't get a mammogram until I'm over 40. Unless you have high risk factors for the most part that's true. The fact that your insurance company will not pay for a mammogram before age 40 should not lull you into a state of denial.
- Realize that breast cancer does not have an alarm clock. It may not wait until your 40 to rear its ugly head. Be proactive and practice regular breast exams every month. Become familiar with your own body and know what feels normal or suddenly seems different. Do not be afraid to run to the doctor if you feel something that is not quite right.
I don't take estrogen supplements so I'm not increasing my risk. WRONG! Not all breast cancer is hormone sensitive. Some tumors are negative for hormone receptors. Estrogen does not play a role in those tumors.
- Read the labels of what you are eating. High energy or meal replacement bars and snacks contain soy. Soy is used as a natural estrogen replacement. You may well be fueling the fire if you are prone to developing a hormone sensitive cancer.
Recent studies indicate soy may not be healthy for women with a propensity towards estrogen sensitive cancer. How can you tell? You won't know until it happens. You are not missing anything if you limit your intake of soy.
For the month of October make it your mission to learn more about this disease through your own research. Talk to your family members, friends and co-workers. Talk to your daughters! Open a dialog with them and with yourself.
If you have been putting off that mammogram. DON"T DELAY ANOTHER DAY
We should all thank Betty Ford for being a pioneer and spokes person for women.
When she was First Lady and diagnosed she talked openly about her treatment and the disease to the country.
Prior to her "coming out" so to speak the "disease" was spoken about in hushed tones. Not an acceptable topic for conversation.
We still shy away from this subject and avoid it like its taboo. Education and awareness can and does save lives. Make it your mission this month to be a life saver. All it takes is for you to reach out to one woman or man for that matter, and encourage them to take the step and get a mammogram or a breast exam. Offer to go with them and stop for a great lunch later.
In real estate its said to be all about
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
With breast cancer its all about
DETECTION DETECTION DETECTION
I'm not a doctor or a medical consultant. I'm just one of the thousands who have made a detour down that dark road. I've traveled it twice. During my journeys I learned about this disease and how much myth surrounds it.
The best websites for information I've found are Dr. Susan Love Johns Hopkins has an entire facility devoted to breast health. That's were I was treated in 1998. Johns Hopkins and The American Cancer Society
- If you are newly diagnosed I do have some sage advice. Learn everything you can about your diagnoses, the kind you have, treatment options and prognoses.
Don't let someone sitting in a chair with a prescription pad make your decisions for you. Do not be passive or a shrinking violet. Ask for the latest and cutting edge treatment options. If they are not available in your home town - find out where to go - and do it.
- There are no curtain calls with this disease. You get one chance to do it right. Select an aggressive treatment plan and take every option available to you. This is your life and its worth every edge you can get to make sure you defeat the beast. Be in control of your destiny and decide what is right for you.
Above all do not ask WHY ME? WHY YOU?
- Because you have the courage, the resolve and the tenacity to face this head on. Do what needs to be done, and walk down the road with the conviction that this is a bump on life's highway and you are going to win!