Saturday, October 15, 2016

Winning The Battle

As I sat and watched both professional and college football this weekend, I was once again so proud to see how much the world has evolved. I of course didn’t see every team participating, but there are still several weekends left in October and this whole month is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Several teams were wearing pink gloves and pink socks and the breast cancer symbol across their helmets and jerseys.  I saw several commercials of grown 200+ pound young men with tears in their eyes, talking about their mothers, grandmothers and aunts who have been stricken with this horrible disease; some who battled and overcame it, some who did not.

Last March I had my own scare for about 30 days or better. The steps you take to come to a conclusion, to a definitive prognosis are long and nerve wracking to say the least. But several mammograms and a biopsy later – almost a month later - my personal ending was negative and I was as grateful as you could imagine.

So many women are not so lucky. But there are still so many women who are not even getting themselves checked. I shudder to think what the odds of survival are for those women who discover their cancer in ways that could have been otherwise prevented with prior check-ups.

No it’s not fun, and no I’m not about to tell you it’s not downright uncomfortable and sometimes painful – BUT IS SO NECESSARY. I say to women all the time, you cannot fight a war when you have no ammunition. Every day that a possible disease continues to grow inside your body is another day that you’re behind the curve in winning the battle.

We can all walk a million miles/raise millions of dollars to try and help find a cure – but ladies – you HAVE to be proactive in taking control of your own lives, your own bodies. My mother will be 76 years old this December and she STILL has her mammograms every single year. Breast cancer has no age limit – and she is well aware of that – as she has friends in her own circle who have fought that particular battle and won as well.

Precaution, prevention, and protection are the names of the game we call WINNING. There are free clinics everywhere who will help you if you do not have or cannot afford a healthcare program. Don’t let being embarrassed or without funds/having to ask for help, stop you from taking care of yourselves. There are also hospitals that offer free screenings throughout the year – pay attention and get on the list.

Right this minute I know women who starve themselves trying to stay thin, lay in the sun trying to
stay tan, but if I ask them when they had their last mammogram, they can’t tell me. They either don’t remember or they just haven’t done it. Skinny and tan won’t matter when you’re dead.

This is a strong/harsh message. I want it to be an awakening. Get yourselves checked. Please. If not for the people who love you – then love yourself.

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