Breast cancer: make it personal

Posted on October 16th, 2009 by by Solanova

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As most of us know, October is National Breast Cancer awareness month.   For the 25 years that this has been going on, I’ve worn a pink ribbon on   occasion, clicked on a link or two to fund free mammograms, and made a   donation every so often to one of the numerous charitable groups that   fund research and services for people with breast cancer.  I was doing my   part.  Wasn’t I?

About six years ago a trifecta of tragedy struck my immediate family.   First, my mother-in-law succumbed to a very long and brave battle with  breast cancer that had been in and out of remission.  Very soon after, my young, forty-one year old sister-in-law was diagnosed with a breast tumor and had to endure chemotherapy while caring for her two small children.  And finally, six months after that, my own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Suddenly the war on breast cancer was hitting very close to home.

And then something happened to me.  I finally understood the hopelessness, the depression and the anger that hundreds of thousands of families around the country and around the world have had to cope with when there is a diagnosis of breast cancer.  I started to be acutely aware of changes in drug and treatment research and also how much volunteer support is needed both for the patients and families going through cancer.

I made some changes in my life.  I arranged my schedule so I could help my mother with household chores she no longer had the energy to accomplish.  I drove her to her treatments.  I emailed more often with my sister-in-law, whose diagnosis to this day is happily quite good.  I donated one of my cars that I planned on selling to a breast cancer charity.  And perhaps most notably, I shared my family story of breast cancer with everyone who would listen.  I pleaded with the women I knew to get regular mammograms, and to be sure to see their doctors immediately if anything seemed amiss with their breast health.  I became an early detection crusader and am to this very day.

My mother’s diagnosis turned out to be treatable, which was wonderful news.  But even so, she has endured many false alarms and several operations over the years just to make sure the cancer was gone.  It is highly traumatic for any woman (or man for that matter) to go through breast cancer treatment.  They deserve our empathy, our support and our utmost respect.

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To learn more about breast cancer information and ways you can make a difference, click here.  At Solanova, fighting breast cancer is particularly close to our hearts.  For every order placed over $100 dollars in October, we will donate 5% to breast cancer charities.

Thank you for your support and for your patronage.

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