October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is very important to me as I AM a breast cancer survivor of 8 years – yehaw!! Both of my sisters are also breast cancer survivors and I can remember when I was told the news all I could think of was – why NOT me. You see, cancer runs rampant in my family. My mother had 7 siblings and all but one died of some kind of cancer. My mother died of lung cancer in 1999 and my dad of pancreatic cancer in 2007. Two of my dad’s brothers died of cancer, the oldest the day after my dad died!! My dad’s mother had both breast and cervical cancer and died before my parents were married.
Cancer these days is not a death sentence like it used to be a few years ago. Early detection is the key in most cases and I think attitude has a lot to do with recovery. You have to think positive while going through chemo and/or radiation although you feel like crap!! And you must have a good support team. I have the best husband that took care of me while going through chemo and radiation and the most wonderful best friend in the whole world, who would take off work to take me to my chemo treatments! She said this was our time to sit and visit. Plus the support of family, who had been there, done that kinda thing.
After my first chemo treatment, my hair started falling out and I decided I was not going to be one of those who would wake up with clumps of hair on the pillow, so I decided I would shave my head. I remember the night I was going to do this. Greg was going to help me. He had gone to some sort of banquet, and it was getting late and me, being Miss Impatient, decided to “do the deed” and shave my head myself. Well, after the first buzz through, I looked in the mirror and just started bawling — but what could I do, there was NO going back now!! So I finished buzzing my head with the clippers and thought, it sure is rough! When Greg got home he took the razor and shaved it smoother. Course, after a while I didn’t have to worry about shaving it as the chemo took care of that. One thing I have to say – it was kinda nice not having to wash, or blow dry or style my hair every day!
After six years of going to an oncologist, I was released from my doctor’s care a couple years ago. I make sure I have my annual mammograms, although I HATE having those done, but it is so important. I exercise, eat healthy and stay active which is also important. I hope to be around for a long, LONG time doing the things I love like dancing most every weekend and working in the yard. Isn’t life grand!!
To learn more on breast cancer and get important info, you can visit their website: