Breast Cancer Awareness month brings about many emotions for me. I am officially a 11 year survivor of this dreaded disease. I was diagnosed and cured in the month of October in 2007. At the time my daughter, Natalie, was only 8 years old and I knew nothing mattered more than making really good decisions that would help ensure a great outcome.
After spending the month of September at numerous appointments and and biopsies I was worried. The horrible call came on October 9th. My first reaction was to leave town, take care of it and return to business as usual. That just never works out, so I decided to use this as a chance to preach early detection and make the Miller Street world aware of how important that is. I found the first cancer site – there were 4 when it was all said and done.
As I prepared for my bi-lateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts), I had to keep all these little people from being afraid and making it as positive as possible. It worked!!
On October 30th I was cancer free after this long surgery. I have never been so excited, and I knew then that I know how it feels to win the lottery! As I prayed for that great news, I promised that if God would grant me this prayer I would shout early detection from every roof top and help as many people as possible. And that is exactly what I have done.
Both of my grandmothers had been survivors, so I knew that I could get this and watched myself closely. I encourage you to do this. I had missed my mammogram in March and never thought about it. The card never came in the mail so it just slipped my mind. Don’t make that mistake.
I admit, I was a little over-confident in thinking that I probably would not get cancer because I was active, young (37 at the time), ate fairly clean and didn’t smoke. Don’t make that mistake. Cancer knows no age or lifestyle.
As I celebrate my 10th year of good health I have been blessed to meet and encourage many people around the nation. Not all of these friends have made it, and nothing destroys me more than watching a child suffer the loss of their mother to this terrible, but often curable, disease.
Many blessings have come my way in life. My health is one of them and I am proud to say that I, like you, am here watching my dancer (Natalie is now a senior) do what she loves on that stage. Look after your mothers, sisters and girlfriends by encouraging early detection. This is the best way to create a positive outcome.
All my love,