October is here!
To some people, they see October and want to hide away from the sheer volume of pink explosions all over the place. In the stores, you’ll find numerous products supporting the pink ribbon in support of breast cancer awareness. Walking down the street, you may find a woman wearing a shirt, hat, or even shoes showing her support. You’ll find ads on T.V. with non-profits seeking donations and asking for your participation in their up-coming walk.
To others, possibly those that have lived with breast cancer first hand, they see a sisterhood that is so strong they are honored to be a part of it. Being diagnosed with breast cancer is an awful way to be inducted into the sorority. But for those that are, it’s an amazing support system. One I am proud to be a part of.
I cherish the overabundance of pink ribbons, just like I do when I see any colored ribbons around town supporting a good cause. I sport my own pink ribbon shirts and hats more frequently during the month of October than any other month. However, to me, October means something different. It means advocating, changing, and celebrating.
You see, I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (meaning I had pre-cancer) in June of 2012. I opted for a prophylactic bi-lateral mastectomy because of my family’s high cancer recurrence rate. In October of that year, I underwent the scalpel and removed my breasts. Within a week, I heard the news that I, indeed, had invasive lobular carcinoma as well. I had cancer that went undetected. I was diagnosed during a month that is often recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. The month that honors those sisters fighting. The month that is known for plastering pink around the world.
I see October coming and I see me. I reflect on my life and how I got to where I am today. If I wasn’t my own advocate, I wouldn’t have had my mammogram that found the DCIS calcifications at such an early stage. I wouldn’t have opted for a proactive approach to treatment that later found that undetected cancer. I see the change that has occurred in my attitude and my spirit. I see the effect cancer has had on my daughter and her fear of the future. I see an opportunity to bring awareness to others. Amongst all of this, I see the need to celebrate. I look at October as my rebirth and my cancer free month. October 4th comes and I celebrate me.
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