Written By: Denelle Padgett
As October ends I find myself writing this blog about what Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to me. I would imagine most everyone recognizes the pink ribbon as a symbol of the month. Clothing, shoes, decorations and countless items go on sale promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’d think that all this stuff would be a great way to raise money for the countless charities and research facilities to help find a cure, but just because a product has a pink ribbon doesn’t mean it helps anyone other than the business. There are certainly some businesses that donate, so next year before you buy, that pink ribbon product, check out the company and see if they donate. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Manduka, the maker of my favorite yoga mat, has a yoga towel that they are selling through the end of the year…. donating 100% net profits to Susan G Komen!!
Also, the NFL has a pink apparel line that they are selling to donate their
profits to the American Cancer Society. I love seeing support and
awareness around my community and on TV. It’s pretty cool to see
Football players wearing pink jerseys and helmets. It’s a month where
opponents come together to acknowledge the month and promote
But what is there to be aware of?
A few things come to my mind…
1. There are many people who have been diagnosed and treated (or going through treatment) of breast cancer. Holy crap this is the scariest time of their lives! So be aware!! Be aware that someone needs your support, which doesn’t have to be in the form of money, it could be a simple act of kindness or a few nice words.
2. After a person completes the treatment of breast cancer, it’s not just a distant memory. It’s a part of their new life. Once you have had cancer, you know it doesn’t just happen to other people. The fear of reoccurrence is always lingering somewhere in the back of your mind.
3. Cancer that metastasis is not curable and these people will live the rest of their lives with breast cancer. These are people I like to call Forever Fighters! Your battle may never be over but with today’s medications and treatment options I would hope your life is still full of happiness and love!
4. Awareness!! If you have not had a mammogram yet, why the heck not?? Breast cancer does not wait until you are 55 or older, my goodness, with today’s medical technologies if women had mammograms just like they have annual Pap smears, early detection could allow for treatment at the first sign of cancer.
5. Cancer treatment is very expensive. A person going through treatment is lucky if they have health insurance that covers the bulk of these medical expenses. (The sad truth is that most people are under insured) But the medical expenses are not the only struggle. Surgeries, chemotherapy, doctor visits, radiation all take time and even the most determined of people are going to miss some work, even months and months of work. Who will pay the rent, groceries, utilities? If the person going through treatment is lucky they get medical leave from their job, but not all companies offer paid leave. Could you imagine the strain of not being able to work and pay your bills alongside the fear of having cancer?? If you know someone in treatment, offer them a pre made meal or day of house cleaning! When I was in treatment my family and friends would drop by meals and oh my goodness, what a blessing it was for my family to have home cooked meals together.
6. Lastly I think about the women I know who lost their fight to breast cancer. When I walk the Susan G Komen walk and volunteer at local fundraisers I can’t help but wish they were with me. I do celebrate being a “survivor” and I adore being around my survivor friends, but we all morn those we have lost. My wish each October is that the pink ribbons could have been enough for them.
If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer
find a local support group! There are other people who can
understand what you are going through. Reno as a fantastic support
group that is full of support and happiness (not doom and gloom)!