Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stupid Cancer

Have you been touched personally by cancer yet?  It seems like I have had more contact with cancer in the past 10 years than I care to.  My dad had cancer. My aunt had cancer. Another aunt had cancer. People I knew at church had cancer.  People I know in the blogosphere had cancer.  It seems to be everywhere!  With each person I've known with cancer, the more strongly I grow to hate cancer.  I have been fortunate that my family members who have had cancer are all doing well now, and I don't take that lightly.

Earlier this month I learned that a friend of mine from high school found out she has breast cancer. Although we haven't seen each other too often since we graduated, this hits close to home for me because she is only 33 (like me), married with young kids (like me), and has family members who also have had cancer (like me).  She has been on my mind almost constantly since I learned of her cancer and tomorrow she is having a bilateral mastectomy to remove all the cancer, and because her type is agressive, all the remaining tissue it could have spread to. I think it is wrong for a young wife and mom to have cancer.  It makes me mad to know that there are many young wives and moms dealing with this every day!

But that brings me to the point of this post. A person has a much better chance for recovery if they find their cancer early.  Early detection is vital, and in the case of breast cancer - it is easy! We've all been told during our dreaded annual check-up to do breast self exams monthly, but how many of us actually do them? I don't. My friend didn't either, until two months ago. However, she thought that since she had family members with breast cancer, she really couldn't afford to forget to do it each month.  The first month, her self exam felt fine. The second month she found her cancer.  Who knows how long that cancer would have grown and spread if she hadn't taken the time to make this a priority? I think this is super important, and I would post a good exam right here on the blog, but the pictures are a bit explicit for the young eyes at my house an many of your houses, so I will just post a link: Breast Self Exam. But promise me something, okay? If you are a woman and you are reading this post, click on that link and learn how to do this.  Then do it! It could save your life.


Joanna said...

I don't know what is wrong with everything, but this post just updated today. I checked our blog yesterday and the day before and it was still on the book post. Weird.

Anyway, I check sometime, but it's hard to feel anything when I'm nursing.

Johanna said...

How strange. Did your computer show the 2 posts that have posted since this one when you checked this morning?

My OB said it was hard to check while nursing. But, that won't be forever (even if it feels like it will!!) and hopefully you'll get on a schedule of self exams after that!