Welcome to the Month of Pink. I do like the color pink, and I’ll proudly wear a rhinestone pink press on tattoo. BUT, Breast cancer is not a pink ribbon. About 1/8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. About 1/1000 men. Yes, MEN get breast cancer too. This does not take into account DCIS – the earliest form of breast cancer (before the cancer cells leave the milk duct). I dare say that number is MUCH higher. Being aware does not mean wearing a ribbon. It means considering the risk, educating yourself on prevention, and getting checked. Feel yourself up, get screened, and listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right, honor your intuition. I can write this note today because I listened to my body. I took into consideration that breast cancer ran in my family, and insisted on an MRI when the mammogram and ultrasound were absolutely clear. I also demanded a second reading of that MRI when I was told I could wait 6 months and do another. The whole story can be found in my Ponderings from July 2013. But today I’m going to tell you another story, my Mom’s:
My Mother is a 22 year breast cancer survivor. She told me the morning I got home from tour last week that there was a “questionable” area on her MRI. NOTHING had shown up on her mammogram or ultrasound that same month (like me!). I got her an appointment that evening with Dr. Kristi Funk who was able to find the spot on ultrasound and biopsy the area. We knew within 24 hours that it was cancerous. The tumor is small, but invasive, which means that the cells broke out of the milk duct into the surrounding tissue. So we didn’t waste any time and got the first appointment for surgery which is tomorrow. We could use your positive energy and prayers. I told her how much it helped me get through my journey with the “Little F**&er” and she agreed to let that energy in as well. Here are two pictures -both taken last week while we waited for her biopsy. The first was in the park and the second was taken at Pink Lotus Breast Center. I told her to “punch out cancer” and she gave me that fist.
I hope this is your takeaway – if something doesn’t feel right, or it’s “Questionable” – don’t wait. Get it checked out immediately. If you have a history of breast cancer or a first degree relative that has had it, get an MRI. Hey Mom – we got this. We know what to do when life throws us a #Curve. Love, C