Would You Know The Face Of Courage If You Saw It?

Real Estate Agent

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.
Breast Cancer SurvivorBreast Cancer Survivor

Breast Cancer Survivor


Breast Cancer SurvivorBreast Cancer Survivor


Breast Cancer SurvivorBreast Cancer SurvivorBreast Cancer Survivor



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
Betty Ford Former First Lady
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!

Comments (23)

Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Ruth,  Thank you for commenting.  I'm sorry for your loss.  I also lost my mother to Ovarian cancer.  The gene for Ovarian and Bowel are related to breast.  Her Ovarian cancer put me at risk and I never knew it.

Oct 03, 2011 05:59 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Terrific and inspiring post.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!" and suggested for AR feature.

Oct 03, 2011 07:18 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Richard:  Thank you for featuring and thank you for the suggest.  I know you from reading you over the past few years. You are an inspiring person.   I'm sure you take this cause very seriously as well.  Thanks again.

Oct 03, 2011 09:19 AM
Torgie Madison
Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Portland, OR
Websites and Contact Management

Both our military personnel and breast cancer survivors are some of the most courageous people out there. Great tribute!

Oct 03, 2011 09:25 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Torgie:  Thanks for commenting.  I have the utmost respect for our military.  My Dad was in the Air Force through two tours in World War II, my husband was in Viet Nam.   I'm located in area of Pa where we have a tremendous number of Guard and active military.  I meet them in my sons bar all the time.  Those who are missing limbs and those who are living with post traumatic stress syndrome.  None of them are bitter.  Many of them are only to eager to return to war.  All of them believe we have to fight for our freedom and our way of life.

While I was actively being treated I met some wonderful women facing down the disease for two or three times.  Their attitude could not help but inspire me to look at life in a completely different way.

Oct 03, 2011 09:35 AM
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Thanks, Bonnie,   I wlll reblog this later.  Men get breast cancer, too.  But, for the most part, and I don't want to diminish anyone, our heroes are women who have beaten this, and those who haven't.

Oct 04, 2011 09:20 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Don,  Thank you for commenting. Yes men do get breast cancer.  I am really not up to speed with the warning signals or the specifics.  I met men who were being treated at Hopkins.  It's a rarity, but not impossible.

I'm particularly torn by the women with young children.  Going through treatment and not sure if they will see their youngsters grow up.  It is heart breaking.

Oct 04, 2011 02:55 PM
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Bonnie, Don sent me over because of his reblog.  Thank you for writing this.  It is heart-wrenching to see any woman go through this, but as you said the ones with children are particularly frightened. 

God bless you.

Oct 05, 2011 12:19 PM
Linda K. Mayer
License # 01767321 - La Verne, CA

Bonnie, this one is for so many women I know... some who have survived and some who haven't. And daughters who are now possibly dealing with the same thing their mom or gramma had to deal with. THANK YOU for writing it!  BTW: Saw this on Don's reblog.

Oct 05, 2011 12:44 PM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Ron, thank you for stopping by and commenting.  Thank you for the God Bless.  He has a lot more to do with our recovery than we give credit for.

Oct 05, 2011 01:16 PM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Linda,  I appreciate Don re-blogging this.  I too have friends who survived and those who did not.  I am grateful to have made it through stage iv.  It saddens me to think we are really no further ahead in the war on cancer than we were 50 years ago.

While survival rates on some cancers are better - we still cannot defeat this disease.  Education and awareness is critical to getting it early.

Oct 05, 2011 01:20 PM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Bonnie-Only those who've been diagnosed with cancer can truly know the impact-physically, emotionally, and financially- the disease exacts. Your post is a testament to those affected and their loved ones. Thanks.

Oct 05, 2011 01:36 PM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Wayne,  thank you for commenting.  You are correct about all the impacts.  The physical you can deal with.  Some of it is temporary and some of it is permanent.  The emotion is like a roller coaster.  The financial can totally set you back for the rest of your life.

No matter how dark the road appears, focus on getting well, and believing you can beat it back.

Oct 05, 2011 01:58 PM
Tatyana Makarov
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor

Hello Bonnie,

Thanks for your post... I am aware of the breast cancer month. I lost my father to a kidney cancer and know what people are going through! I wish all men and women who is diagnosed with ANY type of cancer all the best!

Oct 06, 2011 08:49 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Tatyana,  It's an insidious disease.  My Dad was 51 when he died of Hodgkin's.  My Mom had just turned 65 when she died of Ovarian.  I was so misinformed about the diseases.  I had no idea Ovarian and Breast were from the same gene.  12 years after my mother died I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had already spread to lymph nodes.  I was stupid to think "It can't happen to me".

Awareness is an important part of prevention.  Keep talking and remind people how important detection is.

Oct 06, 2011 11:08 AM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks for the great post, Bonnie.  Raising awareness of breast cancer can really make a difference.

Oct 07, 2011 06:59 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

John  Thanks for commenting.  Caught early this disease is survivable.  Betty Ford is also an example of that.  She lived cancer free because of early detection,plus she selected a radical treatment model.

Oct 07, 2011 01:28 PM
Coleen DeGroff
Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL


Blessings to you for this awesome and informative post. I am in awe over your bravery and strength!! Thanks for sharing!

Oct 09, 2011 01:26 PM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Coleen thank you for commenting.  I'm not special.  I'm like so many of my BC sisters who have toughed it out.  By the way you live in an excellent place for medical attention of all kinds.  My Mom was treated in Shands years ago.  They are super.

Oct 09, 2011 02:17 PM
Lynn Johnson
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN
Owatonna, MN Real Estate

Bonnie - your post provided a personal view with photos of people who have battled breast cancer - to make you post that much more meaningful.  For the last four years I've walked in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 60 mile 3 Day.  Each participant raises $2300 and along the way I've met so many wonderful women, so many of them haved survived their bout with cancer.  Keep up your good work.

Oct 17, 2011 05:08 PM