When I was wondering what to write about for Breast Cancer Awareness Month I received an email from Barbie a breast cancer survivor. I asked her if she wnated to share her testimony as encouragement with some of our readers and she was honored to tell everyone about her experience.
~ A PERSONAL NOTE FROM BARBIE ~
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month…
…and I’m sure you can tell as everything from your junk mail, blenders and spatulas, office supplies, to even the NFL are turning pink! It’s all good.
As the wife of a busy husband, and mom of three equally busy and very tall teenage boys….I try hard to control my nagging. But October is different for me with this Breast Cancer Awareness thing, I’m about to “nag” YOU! Here goes: my dear female colleagues and friends: have you had your mammogram this year? If not, please take care of yourself, take a moment and make your appointment now!
And guys: I will ‘nag’ you too: love the ladies in your life and remind them as well.
Many of you know that I am a recent breast cancer survivor. (It still feels strange to hear myself say that.) I have no family history of cancer and have been religious about having a mammo every year for ages, no big deal.
August 2008, I was happy, healthy and crazy busy like we all get, preparing details for a 2 week family cruise to Alaska, so I almost cancelled my annual appointment. Thank God I didn’t, as I got “the call” two days later to come back for biopsy, etc. Long story short, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, had a lumpectomy where they discovered it had spread through my lymph nodes, had a ‘port’ put in, had 6 months of chemo (lost hair, eyelashes, fingernails…) and 33 radiation treatments. If this can happen to me, dear friends, I don’t want it to happen to you! I encourage you to make ~ and keep ~ your appointment!
It’s scary entering the world of cancer. I didn’t sign up for this! But ya know, I wasn’t angry, scared-yes, but more determined to fight it. The new, better perspective on life it gave me: what’s important and what’s not, was eye opening (baldness can do that to you!) I decided that if God gave me 6 months…or 60 more years to live, I wanted to do it better, to focus on what lasts. I am grateful for the lessons I learned along my cancer journey ~ but I hope my “nagging” will help you avoid having to learn these amazing lessons the same way I had to.
Ill step off my pink soapbox now ~ a few pics below to share ~