Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Reflections on my Cancer-versary

It's been 9 years since my younger sister badgered me into resuming my annual mammograms. I had been in fearful denial for several years. It's also been nine years since my diagnosis with hereditary BRCA-1 breast cancer - the worst possible scenario. A look at my family history tells the grim tale.

My great-grandmother died in her 40's, my grandmother at 42, my mother at 58. I was diagnosed the very year my sis urged me - one more time - to get another mammogram. Even my 28 year old daughter joined the 'party' when she was 20 weeks pregnant. Our prognosis as part of the BRCA-1 'club' is not good. Agressive breast cancer, a propensity for ovarian cancer, and a life expectancy that is far from ideal. Yet life goes on.

I was lucky (blessed) to have learned from my dear departed mother's demise. It's foolish not to go to the best possible cancer treatent center - in my case, MD Anderson Cancer Center, where they're working to 'make cancer history'. The forward-thinking doctors there know better than to fool around. They take this monster at face value - it's a killer. They are on the cutting edge of science, spot on for personal care, and wonderfully spiritual in their support.

All of this inside baseball information brings me to a couple of important points for those reading this.

1) Awareness and vigilance is vital. Go have that annual checkup for whatever may ail you. It may just save your life.

2) No one should die so that another can live! Before you get lost in a filmy cloud of PINK awareness, find out how to best serve those who struggle with breast cancer. Susan G Komen and the American Cancer Society are NOT the answer. Their use and advocating for embryonic stem cell research and acceptance of abortion for pregnant cancer victims, disqualifies them. To find out more, check out Six Things to Consider During the Pink Month for the details and ethical alternatives.

So happy 9th Cancer-versary to me! God has blessed me with another year and a loving sister. May I use my remaining time on earth to His Glory!