I cannot let October slip away without discussing one very important topic. October has become synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness and the pink ribbon. I think we all know someone in our lives who has been affected by breast cancer. The dedication to promoting breast cancer awareness has resulted in such great advances for both detecting and treating the disease. Per the American Cancer Society there are currently 2.8 million breast cancer survivors here in the this country and a steady decline in death rates since 1989 due largely in part to emphasis on early detection, education and improved treatment.
I have a dear friend who is battling breast cancer. This amazing woman, whom I have mentioned on the blog before, most recently in my marathon training post, also gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl on 10/11/13. This baby is nothing short of a miracle. Very soon after learning she was pregnant with her second child, my friend received the terrifying news that she had breast cancer. In the face of adversity my friend looked it straight in the eye, flipped the big C the bird, put on her boxing gloves and has been beating the hell out of breast cancer from day one. I have no doubt that she will win. She has an incredibly positive attitude, a fighting spirit and the love and support of so many. I have spent the better part of this year praying for the healing of my friend. I would do anything possible to help her, but given the distance between us I’ve mostly sat on the sidelines offering my support from afar.
My friend reminded all the women in her life to please utilize the tools available to screen for early detection of breast cancer. These tools include self-breast exams, routine visits to a gynecologist and yearly mammograms from age 40 if no history is present. A week before my 40th birthday I called my OB/Gyn doctor and scheduled my first mammogram. Ladies please, if you are over the age of 40 and have never had a mammogram go get one if possible. My experience was surprisingly quick and painless. I was in and out of the office in about 35 minutes. There was a little pressure on the breasts, but it was over very quickly.
There are so many ways to support this cause. The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website is a wealth of resources. You can donate money, run a 5K, buy products designated with a pink ribbon or simply pray for all of the brave men and women fighting their own personal battle against breast cancer.