Thursday, October 21, 2010

trade secrets: thinking pink

Pink has always been one of my favorite colors. It stands for many things in my life..giggles, Easter dresses, cotton candy, ballet shoes and tutus, blushing lemonade, stargazer lillies...but it also reminds me that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 96%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

I know there has been a HUGE DISPUTE over the starting age of mamograms. A govenment panel from this Spring stated that mammograms need to be started at 50 versus 40.

As much as I wanted to personally speak with some of these "medical" experts on GMA, Today, etc who jumped on this bandwagon causing even MORE confusion to women and their MDs...I did not. I just waited patiently knowing they would soon retract their words. Which they did -- especially when the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists snubbed the panel's recommendation.

I encourage you if you are over 40 {or younger if you are at high risk -- mother, sister, etc had breast cancer} to make your appointment and mark it on the calendar for your mammogram. Though they are usually dreaded, you can make the day fun by scheduling something you really enjoy immediately following your appointment. Indulge...Get a massage or a facial. Treat yourself to a lunch with mimosas. Better yet, schedule your mammogram back to back with a girlfriend and then spend the rest of the afternoon together having some fun as a way to celebrate your healthy choices. This could be your annual tradition to protect your health.

If you can't find anyone...I will go with you. {I mean this from the bottom of my heart...I will go with you.}

I had the priviledge of being a part of a breast cancer research team from 1995 to 2001 at Indiana University {from the age of 16 to the time I graduated with my undergraduate}, and if there is anything I can do to save another woman's life...I will do it. If that means coming to your corner of the world to go with you -- my goodness...YOU are worth it.

In 2008 I found a lump in my breast after a self exam. I went to my OB/GYN who then sent me to a specialist who then sent me to have an ultrasound. I remember all the fear of that time waiting. Waiting. Worrying. At the end of the journey...everything came out fine. But I was never more scared or even worse...silently scared of the unknown.

Few people know that little secret about my lump. But I want you to know. I want you to know so that you check yourself monthly. I would be glad with a Christmas/Easter check. Just check. And when you are 40...give me a call if you need me....I make great mimosas.


This is for are my mom's best friend. You will beat this!


  1. My mom died of breast cancer when she was only 44. I had a baseline at age 35 as recommended at that time. Had my next one at 40 and hm,..the hospital had no record of my 1st one. Anyway,I try to go every year. It doesn't bother me to go. I love that you love us but I REALLY had to respond because you mentioned Mimosas. Mimosas and Wheaties - breakfast of champions!

  2. I didn't know that. What a good wake-up call for everyone, young and old.

    I still remember taking my mom to a biopsy appointment when I was a senior. They hit an artery, but didn't know that until we came home and mom couldn't get the bleeding to stop. I had to rush her back to the hospital, and she almost passed out in the car and then did at the hospital. It was awful. Fortunately, it wasn't breast cancer, just cystic breasts. But, scary nonetheless.

  3. Beautifully done! I've been starting to wonder when I should have my first mammogram, as well as an appt with the dermatologist. I have so many spots that weren't there before. God Bless your friend Teresa, I'm saying a prayer for her now.

  4. Such an informative and heartfelt blog. An important blog, too. I have said a prayer for your mother's friend, Teresa.

  5. This is such an important message and glad you felt comfortable to share your secret with your readers.

  6. I'm so glad you posted this! I had my first one at 37, although not fun I'm so glad I did! So many of my family and friends do the 3 day cancer walk here in San Diego. It's amazing. Right now everyone is training, it's so fun to drive on the weekends and see huge groups of ladies dressed in pink walking their miles.

    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend friend, I'm so glad your lump was nothing. That happened to me during a pap. She found a mass...waiting and waiting to get my results is horrible. It was scar tissue that was building up from the 3 c-sections....I was so thankful!



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