October has always been my favorite month out of the year. Even when I was a little girl. The vibrant color of the leaves on the trees, the smell of apple cider donuts, preparing for halloween, and of course it’s also the month I was born. October is the month I wait all year for.
11 years ago October took on a whole new meaning. It became all things pink and all things that reminded me I have cancer. October all of a sudden wasn’t the amazing New England fall, it was a mirror of all of the things I wanted to forget. I know most of your are scratching your heads and saying,”where is she going with this?” “I know she is not this negative.” The truth is that it has taken me a long time to look at October again as the wonderful month it is. Like all loves, there are ups and downs and sometimes you have to take inventory of why you loved something so much. That is what I have had to do with October.
While I am amazed at all the fundraising efforts that go on and the millions and millions of dollars that are raised because it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, my head still says, “for us fighters, Breast Cancer Awareness month is every month, and for some of us it goes on for years.” I watch the news and listen to the way they speak about this month, as if squeezing your tattas will prevent Breast Cancer. Are you kidding me? Squeezing my tattas is more for my husband than me. Self breast exams, although a great tool to use, are not always effective in detecting Cancer. Breast Cancer doesn’t always involve a lump you can feel in your breast. I am all for being proactive, so knowing the signs and some symptoms would help more than a sign that says “Squeeze the Tattas.”
Some of the signs are:
A lump or hard spot
Thickening within the breast or in the armpit
An area of swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
An itchy, scaly rash on the nipple
Pulling in or puckering of the nipple or other areas of the breast.
Unexplained weight loss
Some of the best advise I ever received was, start to learn and understand your own body. Listen to your inner voice when its says something is not right. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions, talk to multiple doctors, and make sure your health is your number one priority.
There are 3 million Breast Cancer survivors in the United States today. The best chances for survival include early detection and comprehensive treatment. The millions of survivors have so much to be thankful for and one of them is October.
My love for October returned when I really looked at it without jaded glasses. I realized that if I was experiencing another October that I was also celebrating another birthday and another year I am here! It is also another year that I can spread awareness and embrace that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As a survivor and fighter I believe in pink, I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong, and I believe in miracles. This month of awareness sends a strong message of hope. You are supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors and honoring the taken, and never ever giving up hope.
All my best you Fab Fighters!